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Full text of "The history of English poetry, from the close of the eleventh century to the commencement of the eighteenth century. To which are prefixed, three dissertations: 1. Of the origin of romantic fiction in Europe. 2. On the introduction of learning into England. 3. On the Gesta Romanorum"

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TORONTO. 1901. 






















VOL. III. ij " 









View of the Revival of Learning in England, continued. Reformation of 
Religion. Its effects on Literature in England. Application of this di- 
gression to the main subject I 


Petrarch's sonnets. Lord Surrey. His education, travels, mistress, life, 
and poetry. He is the first writer of blank-verse. Italian blank-verse. 
Surrey the first English classic poet 21 


Sir Thomas Wyat. Inferior to Surrey as a writer of Sonnets. His Life. 
His Genius characterised. Excels in Moral Poetry 41 


The first printed Miscellany of English Poetry. Its Contributors. Sir 
Francis Bryan, Lord Rochford, and Lord Vaulx. The First True Pas- 
toral in English. Sonnet- writing cultivated by the Nobility. Sonnets 
by King Henry the Eighth. Literary character of that king 51 


The Second Writer of Blank-verse in English. Specimens of early Blank- 
verse 65 



Andrew Borde. Bale. Ansley. Chertsey. Fabyll's Ghost, a poem. 
The Merry Devil of Edmonton. Other minor Poets of the Reign of 
Henry the Eighth 72 


John Hey wood the Epigrammatist. His Works examined. Ancient un- 
published burlesque Poem of Sir Penny 84 



Sir Thomas More's English Poetry. Tournament of Tottenham. Its age 
and scope. Laurence Minot. Alliteration. Digression illustrating 
comparatively the language of the fifteenth century, by a specimen of 
the Metrical Armoric Romance of Ywayn and Gawayn 94 


The Notbrowne Mayde. Not older than the sixteenth century. Artful 
contrivance of the story. Misrepresented by Prior. Metrical Romances, 
Guy, syr Bevys, arid Kynge Apolyn, printed in the reign of Henry. 
The Scole howse, a Satire. Christmas Carols. Religious Libels in 
rhyme. Merlin's Prophecies. Laurence Minot. Occasional disqui- 
sition on the late continuance of the use of waxen tablets. Pageantries 
of Henry's Court. Dawn of Taste 123 


Effects of the Reformation on our poetry. Clement Marot's Psalms. Why 
adopted by Calvin. Version of the Psalms by Sternhold and Hopkins. 
Defects of this version, which is patronised by the Puritans in opposition 
to the Choral Service 142 


Metrical versions of Scripture. Archbishop Parker's Psalms in metre. 
Robert Crowley's puritanical poetry 157 


Tye's Acts of the Apostles in rhyme. His merit as a Musician. Early 
piety of king Edward the Sixth. Controversial Ballads and Plays. 
Translation of the Bible. Its effects on our Language. Arthur Kel- 
ton's Chronicle of the Brutes. First Drinking-song. Gammer Gurton's 
Needle 167 


Reign of queen Mary. Mirrour for Magistrates. Its inventor, Sackville 
lord Buckhurst. His life. Mirrour for Magistrates continued by Bald- 
wyn and Ferrers. Its plan and stories 181 


Sackville's Induction to the Mirrour for Magistrates. Examined. A pre- 
lude to the Fairy Queen. Comparative View of Dante's Inferno 190 


Sackville's Legend of Buckingham in the Mirrour for Magistrates. Ad- 
ditions by Higgins. Account of him. View of the early editions of 
this Collection. Specimen of Higgins's Legend of Cordelia, which is 
copied by Spenser 215 


View of Niccols's edition of the Mirrour for Magistrates. High estima- 
tion of this Collection, Historical Plays, whence , ,, 224 



Richard Edwards. Principal poet, player, musician, and buffoon, to the 
courts of Mary and Elizabeth. Anecdotes of his life. Cotemporary 
testimonies of his merit. A contributor to the Paradise of Daintie De- 
vises. His book of comic histories, supposed to have suggested Shak- 
speare's Induction of the Tinker. Qccasional anecdotes of Antony 

Ed wards's songs .............................. 237 


Tusser. Remarkable circumstances of his life. His Husbandrie, one of 
our earliest didactic poems, examined ........ . .............................. 248 


William Forrest's poems. His Queen Catharine, an elegant manuscript, 
contains anecdotes of Henry's divorce. He collects and preserves an- 
cient music. Puritans oppose the study of the classics. Lucas Shep- 
herd. John Pullayne. Numerous metrical versions of Solomon's Song. 
Censured by Hall the satirist. Religious rhymers. Edward More. 
Boy-bishop, and miracle-plays, revived by queen Mary. Minute par- 
ticulars of an ancient miracle-play ............................................ . 257 


English Language begins to be cultivated. Earliest book of Criticism in 
English. Examined. Soon followed by others. Early critical systems 
of the French and Italians. New and superb editions of Gower and 
Lydgate. Chaucer's monument erected in Westminster Abbey. Chaucer 
esteemed by the Reformers ..................... .' ................................ 271 


Sackville's Gorboduc. Our first regular tragedy. Its fable, conduct, cha- 
racters, and style. Its defects. Dumb-show. Sackville not assisted 
by Norton ........................................................................... 289 


Classical drama revived and studied. The Phcenissae of Euripides trans- 
lated by Gascoigne. Seneca's Tragedies translated. Account of the 
translators, and of their respective versions. Queen Elizabeth translates 
apart of the Hercules Oetaeus ................................................ 302 


Most of the classic poets translated before the end of the sixteenth century. 
Phaier's Eneid. Completed by Twyne. Their other works. Phaier's 
Ballad of Gad's-hill. Stanihurst's Eneid in English hexameters. His 
other works. Fleming's Virgil's Bucolics and Georgics. His other 
works. Webbe and Fraunce translate some of the Bucolics. Fraunce's 
other works. Spenser's Culex. The original not genuine. The Ceiris 
proved to be genuine. Nicholas Whyte's story of Jason, supposed to be 



a version of Valerius Flaccus. Golding's Ovid's Metamorphoses. His 
other works. Ascham's censure of rhyme. A translation of the Fasti 
revives and circulates the story of Lucrece. Euryalus and Lucretia. 
Detached fables of the Metamorphoses translated. Moralisations in 
fashion. Underdowne's Ovid's Ibis. Ovid's Elegies translated by Mar- 
lowe. Remedy of Love, by F. L. Epistles by Turberville. Lord Es- 
sex a translator of Ovid. His literary character. Churchyard's Ovid's 
Tristia. Other detached versions from Ovid. Ancient meaning and 
use of the word Ballad. Drant's Horace. Incidental criticism on 
Tully's Oration pro Archia 319 



Kendal's Martial. Marlowe's versions of Coluthus and Museus. Gene- 
ral character of his Tragedies. Testimonies of his cotemporaries. Spe- 
cimens and estimate of his poetry. His death. First Translation of 
the Iliad by Arthur Hall. Chapman's Homer. His other works. Ver- 
sion of Clitophoii and Leucippe. Origin of the Greek erotic romance. 
Palingenius translated by Googe. Criticism on the original. Speci- 
men and merits of the translation. Googe's other works. Incidental 
stricture on the philosophy of the Greeks 349 


Translation of Italian Novels. Of Boccace. Paynter's Palace of Plea- 
sure. Other versions of the same sort. Early metrical versions of Boc- 
cace's Theodore and Honoria, and Cymon and Iphigenia. Romeus and 
Juliet. Bandello translated. Romances from Bretagne. Plot of Shak- 
speare's Tempest. Miscellaneous Collections of translated novels before 
the year 1600. Pantheon. Novels arbitrarily licensed or suppressed. 
Reformation of the English press 372 

General view and character of the poetry of queen Elizabeth's age 395 


Reign of Elizabeth. Satire. Bishop Hall. His Virgidemiarum. MS. 
poems of a Norfolk gentleman. Examination of Hall's Satires 403 

Hall's Satires continued 420 


Hall's Satires continued. His Mundus alter et idem. His Epistles. As- 
cham's Letters. Howell's Letters 433 

Marston's Satires. Hall and Marston compared 441 

Epigrams and Satires. Skialetheia. A Scourge of Truth. Scourge of 



Truth by John Davies of Hereford. Chrestoloros by Thomas Bastard. 
Microcynicon by T. M. Gent. William Goddard's Mastiff Whelp. Pas- 
quill's Mad-Cap, Message, Foole-Cap. Various collections of Epigrams. 
Rowland's Letting of Humours blood in the head vaine. Lodge, Greene 
and Decker's Pamphlets. Catalogue of Epigrammatic Miscellanies. 
Satires by G. Walter. Donne's Satires 451 

Index .. 469 





View of the Revival of Learning in England, continued. Reformation* 
of Religion. Its effects on Literature in England. Application of 
this digression to the main subject. 

oOON after the year 1500, Lillye, the famous grammarian, who had 
learned Greek at Rhodes, and had afterwards acquired a polished La- 
tinity at Rome under Johannes Sulpicius and Pomponius Sabinus, be- 
came the first teacher of Greek at any public school in England. This 
was at saint Paul's school in London, then newly established by dean 
Colet, and celebrated by Erasmus ; and of which Lillye, as one of the 
most exact and accomplished scholars of his age, was appointed the first 
master*. And that antient prejudices were now gradually wearing off, 
and a national taste for critical studies and the graces of composition 
began to be diffused, appears from this circumstance alone : that from 
the year one thousand five hundred and three to the reformation, there 
were more grammar schools, most of which at present are perhaps of little 
use and importance, founded and endowed in England, than had been for 
three hundred years before. The practice of educating our youth in 
the monasteries growing into disuse, near twenty new grammar schools 
were established within this period : and among these, Wolsey's school 
at Ipswich, which soon fell a sacrifice to the resentment or the avarice 
of Henry the Eighth, deserves particular notice, as it rivalled those of 
Winchester and Eton. To give splendor to the institution, beside the 

* Knight, Life of Colet, p. 19. Pace, eruditio, ut extrusa barbaric, in qua nostri 

above' mentioned, in the Epistle dedica- adolescentes solebant fere aetatem consu- 

tory to Colet, before his Treatise Defructu mere," &c. Erasmus says, in 1514, that 

qui ex Doctrina percipitur, thus compli- he had taught a youth, in three years, 

ments Lillye, edit. Basil, ut supr. 1517. more Latin than he could have acquired 

p. 13. " Utpolitiorem Latinitatem, et ip- in any school in England, ne Liliana qui- 

sam Romanam linguam, in Britanniam dem excepta, not even Lillye's excepted. 

nostramintroduxissevideatur. Tanta[ei] Epistol. 165. p. 140. torn. in. 



scholars, it consisted of a dean, twelve canons, and a numerous choir 1 . 
So attached was Wolsey to the new modes of instruction, that he did 
not think it inconsistent with his high office and rank, to publish a ge- 
neral address to the schoolmasters of England, in which he orders them 
to institute their youth in the most elegant literature 11 . It is to be 
wished that all his edicts had been employed to so liberal and useful a 
purpose. There is an anecdote on record, which strongly marks Wol- 
sey's character in this point of view. Notwithstanding his habits of 
pomp, he once condescended to be a spectator of a Latin tragedy of 
DIDO, from Virgil, acted by the scholars of saint Paul's school, and 
written by John Rightwise, the master, an eminent grammarian 1 . But 
Wolsey might have pleaded the authority of pope Leo the Tenth, who 
more than once had been present at one of these classical spectacles. 

It does not however appear, that the cardinal's liberal sentiments 
were in general adopted by his brother prelates. At the foundation of 
saint Paul's school above mentioned, one of the bishops, eminent for his 
wisdom and gravity, at a public assembly, severely censured Colet the 
founder for suffering the Latin poets to be taught in the new structure, 
which he therefore styled a house of pagan idolatry 111 . 

In the year 1517, Fox, bishop of Winchester, founded a college at 
Oxford, in which he constituted, with competent stipends, two professors 
for the Greek and Latin languages". Although some slight idea of a 
classical lecture had already appeared at Cambridge in the system of 
collegiate discipline , this philological establishment may justly be 
looked upon, as the first conspicuous instance of an attempt to depart 
from the narrow plan of education, which had hitherto been held sacred 
in the universities of England. The course of the Latin professor, who 
is expressly directed to extirpate BARBARISM from the new society P, 
is not confined to the private limits of the college, but open to the stu- 
dents of Oxford in general. The Greek lecturer is ordered to explain 
the best Greek classics ; and the poets, historians, and orators, in that 
language, which the judicious founder, who seems to have consulted 
the most intelligent scholars of the times, recommends by name on this 

* Tanner, Notit. Mon. p. 520. where, in the statutes given in 1506, a 

k " Elegantissima literatura." Fiddes's lecturer is established; who, together with 

Wolsey. Coll. p. 105. logic and philosophy, is ordered to read, 

1 Wood, Ath. Oxon. i. 15. See what is " vel ex poetarum, vel ex oratorum operi- 

said of this practice, vol. ii. Sect, xxxiv. bus." Cap. xxxvii. In the statutes of 

111 " Episcopum quendam, et eum qui King's at Cambridge, and New college at 

habetura SAPIENTIORIBUS, inmagnoho- Oxford, both much more antient, an in- 

minum conventu, nostram scholam bias- structor is appointed with the general 

phemasse, dixisseque, me erexisse rem name of INFORMATOR only, who taught 

inutilem, imo malarn, imo etiam, ut illius all the learning then in vogue. Rotul. 

verbis utar, Domum Idololatriee," &c. Comput. vet. Coll. Nov. Oxon. " Solut. 

[Coletus Erasmo. Lond. 1517.] Knight's Informatoribus sociorum et scolarium, 

Life of Colet, p. 319. iv 1. xiis. iid." 

n Statut. C.C.C. Oxon. dTat. Jun. .20. p " Lector seu professor artium huma- 

1517. cap. xx. fol. 51. Bibl. Bodl. MSS. niorum . . . BARBARIEM a nostro alveario 

Laud. 1. 56. extirpet." Statut. ut supr. 

At Christ's college in Cambridge, 


occasion, are the purest, and such as are most esteemed even in the 
present improved state of antient learning. And it is at the same time 
worthy of remark, that this liberal prelate, in forming his plan of stirdy, 
does not appoint a philosophy-lecturer in his college, as had been the 
constant practice in most of the previous foundations : perhaps sus- 
pecting, that such an endowment would not have coincided with his 
new course of erudition, and would have only served to encourage that 
species of doctrine, which had so long choaked the paths of science, 
and obstructed the progress of useful knowledge. 

These happy beginnings in favour of a new and rational system of 
academical education, were seconded by the auspicious munificence of 
cardinal Wolsey. About the year 1519, he founded a public chair at 
Oxford, for rhetoric and humanity, and soon afterwards another for 
teaching the Greek language ; endowing both with ample salaries^. 
About the year 1 524-, king Henry the Eighth, who destroyed or" ad- 
vanced literary institutions from caprice, called Robert Wakefield, ori- 
ginally a student of Cambridge, but now a professor of humanity at 
Tubingen in Germany, into England, that one of his own subjects, a 
linguist of so much celebrity, might no longer teach the Greek and 
oriental languages abroad : and when Wakefield appeared before the 
king, his majesty lamented, in the strongest expressions of concern, the 
total ignorance of his clergy and the universities in the learned tongues ; 
and immediately assigned him a competent stipend for opening a lec- 
ture at Cambridge, in this necessary and neglected department of let- 
ters r . Wakefield was afterwards a preserver of many copies of the 
Greek classics, in the havoc of the religious houses. It is recorded by 
Fox, the martyrologist, as a memorable occurrence s , and very deser- 
vedly, that about the same time, Robert Barnes, prior of the Augustines 
at Cambridge, and educated at Louvain, with the assistance of his 
scholar Thomas Parnell, explained within the walls of his own mona- 
stery, Plautus, Terence, and Cicero, to those academics who saw the 
utility of philology, and were desirous of deserting the Gothic philo- 
sophy. It may seem at first surprising, that Fox, a weak and preju- 
diced writer, should allow any merit to a catholic : but Barnes after- 
wards appears to have been one of Fox's martyrs, and was executed at 
the stake in Smithfield for a defence of Lutheranism. 

But these innovations in the system of study were greatly discouraged 
and opposed by the friends of the old scholastic circle of sciences, and 
the bigoted partisans of the catholic communion, who stigmatised the 
Greek language by the name of heresy. Even bishop Fox, when he 
founded the Greek lecture above mentioned, that he might not appear 
to countenance a dangerous novelty, was obliged to cover his excellent 

q Wood, Hist. Univ. Oxon. i. 245. 246. 1524. Printed for W. de Worde, 4to. 

But see Fiddes's Wolsey, p. 197. Signal. C. ii. See also Fast. Acad. Lovan. 

r Wakefield's Oratio de Laudibus trium by Val. Andreas, p. 284. edit. 1650. 

Linguarum, &c. Dated at Cambridge, s Act. Mon. fol. 1192. edit. 1583. 



institution under the venerable mantle of the authority of the church. 
For as a seeming apology for what he had done, he refers to a canonical 
decree of pope Clement the Fifth, promulged in the year 1311, at 
Vienne in Dauphine, which enjoined, that professors of Greek, Hebrew, 
and Arabic, should be instituted in the universities of Oxford, Paris, 
Bononia, Salamanca, and in the court of Rome 1 . It was under the force 
of this ecclesiastical constitution, that Gregory Typhernas, one of the 
learned Greek exiles, had the address to claim a stipend for teaching 
Greek in the university of Paris u . We cannot but wonder at the 
strange disagreement in human affairs between cause and effect, when 
we consider, that this edict of pope Clement, which originated from a 
superstitious reverence annexed to two of these languages, because they 
composed part of the superscription on the cross of Christ, should have 
so strongly counteracted its own principles, and proved an instrument 
in the reformation of religion. 

The university of Oxford was rent into factions on account of these 
bold attempts ; and the advocates of the recent improvements, when 
the gentler weapons of persuasion could not prevail, often proceeded to 
blows with the rigid champions of the schools. But the facetious dis- 
position of sir Thomas More had no small share in deciding this sin- 
gular controversy, which he treated with much ingenious ridicule w . 
Erasmus, about the same time, was engaged in attempting these re- 
formations at Cambridge : in which, notwithstanding the mildness of his 
temper and conduct, and the general lustre of his literary character, he 
met with the most obstinate opposition. He expounded the Greek 
grammar of Chrysoloras in the public schools without an audience x : 
and having, with a view to present the Grecian literature in the most 
specious and agreeable form by a piece of pleasantry, translated Lucian's 
lively dialogue called ICAROMENIPPUS, he could find no student in the 
university capable of transcribing the Greek with the Latin v . His edi- 
tion of the Greek Testament, the most commodious that had yet ap- 
peared, was absolutely proscribed at Cambridge ; and a programma was 

* " Quern praeterea in nostro Alveario ing a Greek lecture, would be understood, 

collocavimus, quod SACROSANCTI CANO- that he does not mean to absolve ,or ex- 

NES commodissime pro bonis literis, et cuse the other prelates of England from 

imprimis christianis, instituerunt ac jus- doing their proper duty in this necessary 

serunt, eum in hac universitate Oxoniensi, business. At the same time a charge on 

perinde ac panels aliis celeberrimis gym- their negligence seems to be implied, 

nasiis, nunquam desiderari." Statut. u Naud. i. 3. p. 234. This was in 1472. 

C.C.C. Oxon. ut supn The words of this w See, among other proofs, his Epistola 

statute which immediately follow, deserve Scholasticis quibusdam Trojanos se appel- 

notice here, and require explanation. lantibus, published by Hearne, 1716, 8vo. 

" Nee tamen Eos hac ratione excusatos * Erasrrri Epist. Ammonio, dat. 1512. 

volumus,qui Gra2cam lectjonem in eo suis Ep. 123. Op. torn. iii. p. 110. 

IMPENSIS sustentare debent." By Eos, y Ibid. Epist. 139. dat. 1512. p. 120. 

he means the bishops and abbots of Eng- Henry Bullock, called Bovillus, one of 

land, who are the persons particularly Erasmus's friends, and much patronised 

ordered in pope Clement's injunction to by Wolsey, printed a Latin translation of 

sustain these lectures in the university uf Lucian, irepi Ai\//awj', at Cambridge, 

Oxford. Bishop Fox, therefore, in found- 1521, quarto. 


issued in one of the most ample colleges, threatening a severe fine to 
any member of the society, who should be detected in having so fan- 
tastic and impious a book in his possession 2 . One Henry Standish, a 
doctor in divinity and a mendicant friar, afterwards bishop of Saint 
Asaph, was a vehement adversary of Erasmus in the promotion of this 
heretical literature ; whom he called in a declamation, by way of re- 
proach, Grceculus iste, which soon became a synonymous appellation 
for an heretic 3 . Yet it should be remembered, that many English pre- 
lates patronised Erasmus ; and that one of our archbishops was at this 
time ambitious of learning Greek b . 

Even the public diversions of the court took a tincture from this 
growing attention to the languages, and assumed a classical air. We 
have before seen, that a comedy of Plautus was acted at the royal pa- 
lace of Greenwich in the year 1520. And when the French ambassa- 
dors with a most splendid suite of the French nobility were in England 
for the ratification of peace in the year 1514, amid the most magnifi- 
cent banquets, tournaments, and masques, exhibited at the same palace, 
they were entertained with a Latin interlude ; or, to use the words of 
a cotemporary writer, with such an " excellent Interlude made in 
Latin, that I never heard the like ; the actors apparel being so gor- 
gious, and of such strange devices, that it passes my capacitie to relate 
them c ." 

Nor was the protection of king Henry the Eighth, who notwithstand- 
ing he had attacked the opinions of Luther, 'yet, from his natural live- 
liness of temper and a love of novelty, thought favourably of the new 
improvements, of inconsiderable influence in supporting the restoration 
of the Greek language. In 1519, a preacher at the public church of 
the university of Oxford, harangued with much violence, and in the 
true spirit of the antient orthodoxy, against the doctrines inculcated by 
the new professors : and his arguments were canvassed among the stu- 
dents with the greatest animosity. But Henry, being resident at the 
neighbouring royal manor of Woodstock, and having received a just 
detail of the merits of this dispute from Pace and More, interposed his 
uncontrovertible authority ; and transmitting a royal mandate to the 
university, commanded that the study of the scriptures in their original 
languages should not only be permitted for the future, but received as 
a branch of the academical institution d . Soon afterwards, one of the 
king's chaplains preaching at court, took an opportunity to censure the 
genuine interpretations of the scriptures, which the Grecian learning 
had introduced. The king, when the sermon was ended, to which he 
had listened w,ith a smile of contempt, ordered a solemn disputation to 

z Ibid. Epist. 148. dat. 1513. p. 126. b Erasm. Epist. 301. 

a See Erasmi Opera, torn. ix. p. 1440. c Cavendish, Mem. Card. Wolsey, p. 94. 

Even the priests, in their confessions of edit. 1708. 8vo. 
young scholars, cautioned against this d Erasm. Epist. 380. torn. iii. 

growing evil. " Cave a Greeds ne fias 
hareticus." Erasm. Adag. Op. ii. 993. 


be held, in his own presence : at which the unfortunate preacher op- 
posed, and sir Thomas More, with his usual dexterity, defended, the 
utility and excellence of the Greek language. The divine, who at least 
was a good courtier, instead of vindicating his opinion, instantly fell on 
his knees, and begged pardon for having given any offence in the pulpit 
before his majesty. However, after some slight altercation, the preacher, 
by way of making some sort of concession in form, ingenuously declared, 
that he was now better reconciled to the Greek tongue, because it was 
derived from the Hebrew. The king, astonished at his ridiculous ig- 
norance, dismissed the chaplain, with a charge, that he should never 
again presume to preach at court 6 . In the grammatical schools esta- 
blished in all the new cathedral foundations of this king, a master is 
appointed, with the uncommon qualification of a competent skill in both 
the learned languages f . In the year 1523, Ludovicus Vives, having 
dedicated his commentary on Austin's DE CIVITATE DEI to Henry 
the Eighth, was invited into England, and read lectures at Oxford in 
jurisprudence and humanity; which were countenanced by the presence, 
not only of Henry, but of queen Catharine and some of the principal 
nobility s. At length antient absurdities universally gave way to these 
encouragements. Even the vernacular language began to be cultivated 
by the more ingenious clergy. Colet, dean of saint Paul's, a divine of 
profound learning, with a view to adorn and improve the style of his 
discourses, and to acquire the graces of an elegant preacher, employed 
much time in reading Gower, Chaucer, and Lydgate, and other En- 
glish poets, whose compositions had embellished the popular diction h . 
The practice of frequenting Italy, for the purpose of acquiring the last 
polish to a Latin style both in eloquence and poetry, still continued in 
vogue; and was greatly promoted by the connections, authority, and 
good taste, of cardinal Pole, who constantly resided at the court of 
Rome in a high character. At Oxford, in particular, these united en- 
deavours for establishing a new course of liberal and manly science, 
were finally consummated in the magnificent foundation of Wolsey's 
college, to which all the accomplished scholars of every country in Eu- 
rope were invited; and for who^e library, transcripts of all the valuable 
manuscripts which now fill the Vatican, were designed 1 . 

But the progress of these prosperous beginnings was soon obstructed. 
The first obstacle I shall mention, was, indeed, but of short duration. 
It was however an unfavourable circumstance, that in the midst of this 

e Erasm. Epist. p. 408. Greek to be taught in his school at Ips- 

{ Statuimus praeterea, ut per Decanum, wich, founded 1528. See Strype, Eccl. 

etc. unus [Archididascalus] " eligatur, Mem. i. Append, xxxv. p. 94. seq. 

Latine et Greece doctus, bonse famae," &c. e Twyne, Apol. lib. ii. 210. seq. Pro- 

Statut. Eccles. Roffens. cap. xxv. They bably he was patronised by Catharine as 

were given Jun. 30, 1545. In the same a Spaniard. 

statute the second master is required to h Erasm. Epistol. Jodoco Jonae. Ibid. 

be only Latine doctus. All the statutes Jun. 1521. 

of the new cathedrals are alike. It is re- Wood, Hist. Univ. Oxon. i. 249. 

markable, that Wolsey does not order 


career of science, Henry, who had ever been accustomed to gratify his 
passions at any rate, sued for a divorce against his queen Catharine. 
The legality of this violent measure being agitated with much delibe- 
ration and solemnity, wholly engrossed the attention of many able 
philologists, whose genius and acquisitions were destined to a much 
nobler employment ; and tended to revive for a time the frivolous sub- 
tleties of casuistry and theology. 

But another cause which suspended the progression of these letters, 
of much more importance and extent, ultimately most happy in its 
consequences, remains to be mentioned. The enlarged conceptions ac- 
quired by the study of the Greek and Roman writers seem to have re- 
stored to the human mind a free exertion of its native operations, and 
to have communicated a certain spirit of enterprise in examining every 
subject: and at length to have released the intellectual capacity of 
mankind from that habitual subjection, and that servility to system, 
which had hitherto prevented it from advancing any new principle, or 
adopting any new opinion. Hence, under the concurrent assistance of 
a preparation of circumstances, all centring in the same period, arose 
the reformation of religion. But this defection from the catholic com- 
munion alienated the thoughts of the learned from those pursuits by 
which it was produced, and diverted the studies of the most accom- 
plished scholars to inquiries into the practices and maxims of the pri- 
mitive ages, the nature of civil and ecclesiastical jurisdiction, the au- 
thority of scripture and tradition, of popes, councils, and schoolmen : 
topics, which men were not yet qualified to treat with any degree of 
penetration, and on which the ideas of the times, unenlightened by 
philosophy, or warped by prejudice and passion, were not calculated to 
throw just and rational illustrations. When the bonds of spiritual unity 
were once broken, this separation from an established faith ended in a 
variety of subordinate sects, each of which called forth its respective 
champions into the field of religious contention. The several princes 
of Christendom were politically concerned in these disputes ; and the 
courts in which poets and orators had been recently caressed and re- 
warded, were now filled with that most deplorable species of philoso- 
phers, polemical metaphysicians. The public entry of Luther into 
Worms, when he had been summoned before the diet of that city, was 
equally splendid with that of the emperor Charles the Fifth k . Rome 
in return, roused from her deep repose of ten centuries, was compelled 
to vindicate her insulted doctrines with reasoning and argument. The 
profound investigations of Aquinas once more triumphed over the 
graces of the Ciceronian urbanity ; and endless volumes were written 
on the expediency of auricular confession, and the existence of purga- 
tory. Thus the cause of polite literature was for awhile abandoned ; 
while the noblest abilities of Europe were wasted in theological specu- 

k Luther, Op. ii. 412. 414. 


lalion, and absorbed in the abyss of controversy. Yet it must not be 
forgotten, that wit and raillery, drawn from the sources of elegant eru- 
dition, were sometimes applied, and with the greatest success, in this 
important dispute. The lively colloquies of Erasmus, which exposed 
the superstitious practices of the papists, with much humour, and in 
pure Latinity, made more protestants than the ten tomes of John Calvin. 
A work of ridicule was now a new attempt : and it should be here ob- 
served, to the honour of Erasmus, that he was the first of the literary 
reformers who tried that species of composition, at least with any de- 
gree of popularity. The polite scholars of Italy had no notion that the 
German theologists were capable of making their readers laugh: they 
were now convinced of their mistake, and soon found that the German 
pleasantry prepared the way for a revolution, which proved of the most 
serious consequences to Italy. 

Another great temporary check given to the general state of letters 
in England at this period, was the dissolution of the monasteries. 
Many of the abuses in civil society are attended with some advantages. 
In the beginnings of reformation, the loss of these advantages is always 
felt very sensibly : while the benefit arising from the change is the slow 
effect of time, and not immediately perceived or enjoyed. Scarce any 
institution can be imagined less favourable to the interests of mankind 
than the monastic. Yet these seminaries, although they were in a ge- 
neral view the nurseries of illiterate indolence, and undoubtedly de- 
served to be suppressed under proper restrictions, contained invitations 
and opportunities to studious leisure and literary pursuits. On this 
event, therefore, a visible revolution and decline in the national state 
of learning succeeded. Most of the youth of the kingdom betook them- 
selves to mechanical or other illiberal employments, the profession of 
letters being now supposed to be without support and reward. By the 
abolition of the religious houses, many towns and their adjacent villages 
were utterly deprived of their only means of instruction. At the be- 
ginning of the reign of queen Elizabeth, Williams, speaker of the house 
of commons, complained to her majesty, that more than a hundred 
flourishing schools were destroyed in the demolition of the monasteries, 
and that ignorance had prevailed ever since 1 . Provincial ignorance, at 
least, became universal, in consequence of this hasty measure of a ra- 
pacious and arbitrary prince. What was taught in the monasteries, was 

1 Strype, Ann. Ref, p. 212. sub arm. pensione xl. solidorum." MS. Cotton. 

1562. The greater abbies appear to have Tiber. B. ix. 2. This John Somerset was 

had the direction of other schools in their tutor and physician to king Henry the 

neighbourhood. In an abbatial Register Sixth, and a man of eminent learning, 

of Bury abbey there is this entry : " Me- He was instrumental in procuring duke 

morand. quod A.D. 1418. 28 Jul. Guliel- Humphrey's books to be conveyed to Ox- 

mus abbas contulit regimen et magisterium ford. Registr. Acad. Oxon. Epist. F. 179. 

scholarum grammaticalium in villa de 202. 218. 220. And in the foundation of 

Bury S. Edmundi magistro Johanni So- King's college at Cambridge. MSS. Cott. 

merset, artium et grammaticse professori, Julius, F. vii. 43. 
et baccalaureo in medicina, cum annua 


not always perhaps of the greatest importance, but still it served to 
keep up a certain degree of necessary knowledge 01 . Nor should it be 
forgot, that many of the abbots were learned, and patrons of literature ; 
men of public spirit, and liberal views. By their connections with parlia- 
ment, and the frequent embassies to foreign courts in which they were 
employed, they became acquainted with the world, and the improve- 
ments of life : and, knowing where to choose proper objects, and having 
no other use for the superfluities of their vast revenues, encouraged 
in their respective circles many learned young men. It appears to have 
been customary for the governors of the most considerable convents, 
especially those that were honoured with the mitre, to receive into their 
own private lodgings the sons of the principal families of the neigh- 
bourhood for education. About the year 14-50, Thomas Bromele, 
abbot of the mitred monastery of Hyde near Winchester, entertained 
in his own abbatial house within that monastery, eight young gentle- 
men, or gentiles pueri, who were placed there for the purpose of literary 
instruction, and constantly dined at the abbot's table. I will not scruple 
to give the original words, which are more particular and expressive, 
of the obscure record which preserves this curious anecdote of mona- 
stic life. " Pro octo gentilibus pueris apud dominum abbatem studii 
causa perhendinantibus, et ad mensam domini victitantibus, cum gar- 
cionibus suis ipsos comitantibus, hoc anno, xvii 1. ix s. Capiendopro... n " 
This, by the way, was more extraordinary, as William of Wykeham's 
celebrated seminary was so near. And this seems to have been an 
established practice of the abbot of Glastonbury ; " whose, apartment 
in the abbey was a kind of well-disciplined court, where the sons of 
noblemen and young gentlemen were wont to be sent for virtuous edu- 
cation, who returned thence home excellently accomplished ." Richard 
Whiting, the last abbot of Glastonbury, who was cruelly executed by 
the king, during the course of his government, educated near three 
hundred ingenuous youths, who constituted a part of his family; beside 
many others whom he liberally supported at the universities P. Whit- 
gift, the most excellent and learned archbishop of Canterbury in the 
reign of queen Elizabeth, was educated under Robert Whitgift his 
uncle, abbot of the Augustine monastery of black canons at Wellhow 
in Lincolnshire; "who," says Strype, "had several other young gentle- 

m I do not, however, lay great stress dicants, in each of these are held, every 

on the following passage, which yet de- week by turns, proper exercises of scho- 

serves attention, in Rosse of Warwick- lars in disputation." Hist. Reg. Angl. 

shire, who wrote about the year 1480: edit. Hearne, p. 74. [See vol. ii. note 01 , 

" To this day, in the cathedrals and some near the commencement of Sect, xxxiii.] 
of the greater collegiate churches, or mo- n From a fragment of the Computus Ca- 

nasteries, [quibusdam nobilibus collegiis,] merarii Abbat. Hidens. ki Archiv.Wulves. 

and in the houses of the four mendicant apud Winton. ut supr. 
orders, useful lectures and disputations Hist, and Antiq. of Glastonbiiry, 

are kept up; and such of their members Oxon. 1722. 8vo. p. 98. 
as are thought capable of degrees, are sent p Reyner, Apostolat. Benedict. Tract, 

to the universities. And in towns where i. sect. ii. p. 224. Sanders de Schism, 

there are two or more fraternities of men- pag. 176. 


men under his care for education 1." That, at the restoration of lite- 
rature, many of these dignitaries were eminently learned, and even 
zealous promoters of the new improvements, I could bring various in- 
stances. Hugh Farringdon, the last abbot of Reading, was a polite 
scholar, as his Latin epistles addressed to the university of Oxford 
abundantly testify 1 ". Nor was he less a patron of critical studies. Leo- 
nard Coxe, a popular philological writer in the reign of Henry the 
Eighth, both in Latin and English, and a great traveller, highly cele- 
brated by the judicious Leland for his elegant accomplishments in 
letters, and honoured with the affectionate correspondence of Erasmus, 
dedicates to this abbot, his ARTE OR CRAFTE OF RHETORICKE, printed 
in the year 1524, at that time a work of an unusual nature 8 . Wake- 
field above mentioned, a very capital Greek and oriental scholar, in his 
GUAGES,* written in the year 1 524, celebrates William Fryssell, prior of 
the cathedral Benedictine convent at Rochester, as a distinguished 
judge and encourager of critical literature. Robert Shirwoode, an 
Englishman, but a professor of Greek and Hebrew at Louvaine, pub- 
lished a new Latin translation of ECCLESIASTES, with critical annota- 
tions on the Hebrew text, printed at Antwerp in 1523 U . This, in an 
elegant Latin epistle, he dedicates to John Webbe, prior of the Bene- 
dictine cathedral convent at Coventry; whom he styles, for his singular 
learning, and attention to the general cause of letters, MONACHORUM 
DECUS. John Batmanson, prior of the Carthusians in London, con- 
troverted Erasmus's commentary on the New Testament with a degree 
of spirit and erudition, which was unhappily misapplied, and would have 
done honour to the cause of his antagonist w . He wrote many other 
pieces ; and was patronised by Lee, a learned archbishop of York, who 
opposed Erasmus, but allowed Ascham a pension x . Kederminster, 
abbot of Winchcombe in Gloucestershire, a traveller to Rome, and a 
celebrated preacher before king Henry the Eighth, established regular 
lectures in his monastery, for explaining both scriptures in their original 
languages; which were so generally frequented, that his little cloister 
acquired the name and reputation of a new university ?. He was master 

q Strype's Whitgift, b. i. ch. i. p. 3. of the archbishop's Greek books : one of 

r Registr. Univ. Oxon. F. F. fol. 101. these he wishes may be Aldus's Decem 

125. Rhetores Grseci, a book which he could 

s See Leland, Collectan. vol. v. p. 118. not purchase or procure at Cambridge, 
vol. vi. p. 187. And Encom. p. 50. edit. y " Non aliter quam si fuisset altera 

1589. Erasm. Epistol. p. 886. NOVA UNIVERSITAS, tametsiexigua, clau- 

1 cited above, vol. ii. note s , near the strum Wynchelcombense tune temporis se 

end of Sect. xxiv. haberet." From his own Historia, as 

" quarto. below. Wood, Hist. Univ. Oxon. i. p. 248. 

* Theodor. Petreus, Bibl. Carthus. There is an Epistle from Colet, the learned 
edit. Col. 1609. p. 157. dean of St. Paul's, to this abbot, concern- 

* Ascham, Epistol. lib. ii. p. 77. a. ing a passage in St. Paul's Epistles, first 
edit. 1581. [See also iii. p. 86. a.] On printed by Knight, from the original 
the death of the archbishop, in 1544, manuscript at Cambridge. Knight's Life, 
Ascham desires, that a part of his pen- p. 311. 

sion then due might be paid out of some 




of a terse and perspicuous Latin style, as appears from a fragment of 
the HISTORY OF WYNCHOMB ABBEY, written by himself 2 . His eru- 
dition is attested in an epistle from the university to king Henry the 
Eighth a . Longland, bishop of Lincoln, the most elegant preacher of 
his time, in the dedication to Kederminster, of five quadragesimal 
sermons, delivered at court, and printed by Pinson in the year 1517, 
insists largely on his SINGULARIS ERUDITIO, and other shining qualifi- 

Before we quit the reign of Henry the Eighth, in this review of the 
rise of modern letters, let us turn our eyes once more on the universi- 
ties; which yet do not always give the tone to the learning of a nation 13 . 
In the year 1531, the learned Simon Grynaeus visited Oxford. By the 
interest of Claymund, president of Corpus Christi college, an admirable 
scholar, a critical writer, and the general friend and correspondent of 
the literary reformers, he was admitted to all the libraries of the univer- 

z Printed by Dugdale, before the whole 
of the original was destroyed in the fire 
of London. Monast. i. 188. But a tran- 
script of a part remains in Dodsworth, 
MSS. Bibl. Bodl. Ixv. 1. Compare A. 
Wood, ut supr. and Athen. Oxon. i. 28. 

a Registr. Univ. Oxon. F. F. fol. 46. 

b It ought not here to be unnoticed, that 
the royal library of the kings of England, 
originally subsisting in the old palace at 
Westminster, and lately transferred to the 
British Museum, received great improve- 
ments under the reign of Henry the Eighth ; 
who constituted that elegant and judicious 
scholar, John Leland, his librarian, about 
the year 1530. Tanner, Bibl. pag. 475. 
Leland, at the dissolution of the mona- 
steries, removed to this royal repository a 
great number of valuable manuscripts ; 
particularly from St. Austin's abbey at 
Canterbury. Script. Brit. p. 299. One 
of these was a manuscript given by Athel- 
stan to that convent, a Harmony of the 
Four Gospels. Bibl. Reg. MSS. i. A. 
xviii. See the hexasthic of Leland pre- 
fixed. See also Script. Brit, ut supra, 
V. ATHELSTANUS. Leland says, that he 
placed in the Palatine library of Henry 
the Eighth the Commentarii in Mat- 
thseum of Claudius, Bede's disciple. Ibid. 
V. CLAUDIUS. Many of the manuscripts 
of this library appear to have belonged to 
Henry's predecessors ; and if we may judge 
from the splendour of the decorations, were 
presents. Some of them bear the name of 
Humphrey duke of Gloucester. Others 
were written at the command of Edward 
the Fourth. I have already mentioned 
the librarian of Henry the Seventh. Bar- 
tholomew Traheron, a learned divine, was 
appointed the keeper of this library by 
Edward the Sixth, with a salary of twenty- 

marcs, in the year 1549. See Rymer's 
Fred. xv. p. 351. Under the reign of 
Elizabeth, Hentzner, a German traveller, 
who saw this library at Whitehall in 1598, 
says, that it was well furnished with Greek, 
Latin, Italian, and French books, all bound 
in velvet of different colours, yet chiefly 
red, with clasps of gold and silver; and 
that the covers of some were adorned 
with pearls and precious stones. Itinerar. 
Germanise, Anglise, &c. Noringb. 1629. 
8vo. p. 188. It is a great mistake, that 
James the First was the first of our kings 
who founded a library in any of the royal 
palaces; and that this establishment com- 
menced at St. James's palace, under the 
patronage of that monarch. This notion 
was first propagated by Smith in his life 
of Patrick Junius, Vit. Quorund. etc. Lond. 
1707. 4to. pp. 12. 13. 34. 35. Great part 
of the royal library, which indeed migrated 
to St. James's under James the First, was 
partly sold and dispersed, at Cromwell's 
accession; together with another inesti- 
mable part of its furniture, 12000 medals, 
rings, and gems, the entire collection of 
Gorlaeus's Dactyliotheca, purchased by 
prince Henry and Charles the First. It 
must be allowed, that James the First 
greatly enriched this library with the 
books of lord Lumley and Casaubon, and 
sir Thomas Roe's manuscripts brought 
from Constantinople. Lord Lumley's 
chiefly consisted of lord Arundel's, his 
father-in-law, a great collector at the dis- 
solution of monasteries. James had pre- 
viously granted a warrant to sir Thomas 
Bodley, in 1613, to choose any books 
from the royal library at Whitehall, over 
the Queen's Chamber. [Reliq. Bodl. p. 
Hearne, p. 205. 286. 320.] 


sity; which, he says, were about twenty in number, and amply furnished 
with the books of antiquity. Among these he found numerous manu- 
scripts of Proclus on Plato, many of which he was easily permitted to 
carry abroad by the governors of the colleges, who did not know the 
value of these treasures . In the year 1535, the king ordered lectures 
in humanity, institutions which have their use for a time, and while the 
novelty lasts, to be founded in those colleges of the university, where 
they were yet wanting : and these injunctions were so warmly approved 
by the scholars in the largest societies, that they seized on the vene- 
rable volumes of Duns Scotus and other irrefragable logicians, in which 
they had so long toiled without the attainment of knowledge, and tear- 
ing them in pieces, dispersed them in great triumph about their qua- 
drangles, or gave them away as useless lumber d . The king himself 
also established some public lectures with large endowments 6 . Not- 
withstanding, the number of students at Oxford daily decreased ; inso- 
much, that in 1546, not because a general cultivation of the new spe- 
cies of literature was increased, there were only ten inceptors in arts, 
and three in theology and jurisprudence f . 

As all novelties are pursued to excess, and the most beneficial im- 
provements often introduce new inconveniencies, so this universal 
attention to polite literature destroyed philosophy. The old philo- 
sophy was abolished, but a new one was not adopted in its stead. At 
Cambridge we now however find the antient scientific learning in some 
degree reformed, by the admission of better systems. 

In the injunctions given by Henry to that university in the year 1535, 
for the reformation of study, the dialectics of Rodolphus Agricola, the 
great favourite of Erasmus, and the genuine logic of Aristotle, are pre- 
scribed to be taught, instead of the barren problems of Scotus and 
Burlaeuss. By the same edict, theology and casuistry were freed from 
many of their old incumbrances and perplexities : degrees in the canon 
law were forbidden; and heavy penalties were imposed on those acade- 
mics, who relinquished the sacred text, to explain the tedious and un- 
edifying commentaries on Peter Lombard's scholastic cyclopede of di- 
vinity, called the SENTENCES, which alone were sufficient to constitute 
a moderate library. Classical lectures were also directed, the study of 
words was enforced, and the books of Melancthon, and other solid and 
elegant writers of the reformed party, recommended. The politer 
studies, soon afterwards, seem to have risen into a flourishing state at 
Cambridge. Bishop Latimer complains, that there were now but few 

c During his abode in England, ha- catory to sir Thomas More. He there 

ving largely experienced the bounty and mentions other pieces of Proclus, which 

advice of sir Thomas More, he returned he saw at Oxford. 

home, fraught with materials which he d See Dr. Layton's letter to Cromwell, 

had long sought in vain, and published Strype's Eccl. Mem. i. 210. 
his Plato, viz. "Platonis Opera, cum com- e Wood, Hist. Univ. Oxon. i. 26. ii. 36. 

mentariis Procli in Timaeum et Politica, f Wood, ibid, sub anno. 

Basil. 1534." fol. See' the Epistle Dedi- E Collier, Eccles; Hist. vol. ii. p. 110. 


who studied divinity in that university b . But this is no proof of a de- 
cline of learning in that seminary. Other pursuits were now gaining 
ground there ; and such as in fact were subservient to theological truth, 
and to the propagation of the reformed religion. Latimer himself, 
whose discourses from the royal pulpit appear to be barbarous beyond 
their age, in style, manner, and argument, is an example of the neces- 
sity of the ornamental studies to a writer in divinity. The Greek lan- 
guage was now making considerable advances at Cambridge, under the 
instruction of Cheke and Smith'; notwithstanding the interruptions and 
opposition of bishop Gardiner, the chancellor of the. university, who 
loved learning but hated novelties, about the -proprieties of pronun- 
ciation. But the controversy which was agitated on both sides with 
much erudition, and produced letters between Cheke and Gardiner 
equal to large treatises, had the good effect of more fully illustrating 
the point in debate, and of drawing the general attention to the subject 
of the Greek literature 1 . Perhaps bishop Gardiner's intolerance in this 
respect was like his persecuting spirit in religion, which only made more 
heretics, Ascham observes, with no small degree of triumph, that in- 
stead of Plautus, Cicero, Terence, and Livy, almost the only classics 
hitherto known at Cambridge, a more extensive field was opened ; and 
that Homer, Sophocles, Euripides, Herodotus, Thucydides, Demosthe- 
nes, Xenophon, and Isocrates, were universally and critically studied k . 
But Cheke being soon called away to the court, his auditors relapsed 
into dissertations on the doctrines of original sin and predestination ; 
and it was debated with great obstinacy and acrimony, whether those 
topics had been most successfully handled by some modern German di- 
vines or saint Austin 1 . Ascham observes, that at Oxford, a decline of 
taste in both languages was indicated, by a preference of Lucian, Plu- 
tarch, and Herodian, in Greek, and of Seneca, Gellius, and Apuleius, 
in Latin, to the more pure, antient and original writers of Greece and 
Rome m . At length, both universities seem to have been reduced to 
the same deplorable condition of indigence and illiteracy. 

It is generally believed, that the reformation of religion in England, 
the most happy and important event of our annals, was immediately 
succeeded by a flourishing state of letters. But this was by no means 
the case. For a long time afterwards an effect quite contrary was pro- 
duced. The reformation in England was completed under the reign of 

h Sermons, &c. p. 63. Lond. 1584. 4to. sidiis ornatissimus, absque hacunare esset 

Sermon before Edward the Sixth, in the literarum et academiae nostrae patronus 

year 1550. His words are, " It would amplissimus." But he says, that Gardi- 

pitty a man's heart to hear that I hear of ner took this measure, " quorundam in- 

the state of Cambridge: what it is in Ox- vidorum hominum precibus victus." ibid, 

ford I cannot tell. There be few that p. 64 b. 

study divinity but so many as of necessitie k Strype's Cranmer, p. 170. Ascham. 

must furnish the colledges." Epistol. L. ii. p. 64 b. 1581. 

1 Ascham. Epistol. ut modo infr. p. 65 a. l Ascham. Epist. lib. ii. 

Ascham calls Gardiner, "omnibus litera- m Epistol. lib. i. p. 18 b. Dat. 1550. 

rum, prudentioe, consilii, authoritatis, prae- edit. 1581. 


Edward the Sixth. The rapacious courtiers of this young prince were 
perpetually grasping at the rewards of literature ; which, being dis- 
couraged or despised by the rich, was neglected by those of moderate 
fortunes. Avarice and zeal were at once gratified in robbing the clergy 
of their revenues, arid in reducing the church to its primitive aposto- 
lical state of purity and poverty". The opulent see of Winchester was 
lowered to a bare title : its amplest estates were portioned out to the 
laity ; and the bishop, a creature of the protector Somerset, was con- 
tented to receive an inconsiderable annual stipend from the exchequer. 
The bishoprick of Durham, almost equally rich, was entirely dissolved. 
A favourite nobleman of the court occupied the deanery and treasurer- 
ship of a cathedral with some of its best canonries . The ministers 
of this abused monarch, by these arbitrary, dishonest, and imprudent 
measures, only provided instruments, and furnished arguments, for re- 
storing in the succeeding reign that superstitious religion, which they 
professed to destroy. By thus impoverishing the ecclesiastical digni- 
ties, they countenanced the clamours of the catholics ; who declared, 
that the reformation was apparently founded on temporal views, and 
that the protestants pretended to oppose the doctrines of the church, 
solely with a view that they might share in the plunder of its revenues. 
In every one of these sacrilegious robberies the interest of learning also 
suffered. Exhibitions and pensions were, in the mean time, subtracted 
from the students in the universities P. Ascham, in a letter to the mar- 
quis of Northampton, dated 1550, laments the ruin of grammar schools 
throughout England ; and predicts the speedy extinction of the uni- 
versities from this growing calamity ^. At Oxford the public schools 
were neglected by the professors and pupils, and allotted to the lowest 
purposes 1 ". AcademicaKdegrees were abrogated as antichristian 8 . Re- 
formation was soon turned into fanaticism. Absurd refinements, con- 
cerning the inutility of human learning, were superadded to the just 
and rational purgation of Christianity from the papal corruptions. The 
spiritual reformers of these enlightened days, at a visitation of the last- 
mentioned university, proceeded so far in their ideas of a superior rec- 
titude, as totally to strip the public library, established by that munifi- 
cent patron Humphrey duke of Gloucester, of all its books and manu- 

I must not, however, forget, as a remarkable symptom of an attempt 
now circulating to give a more general and unreserved diffusion of sci- 
ence, that in this reign, Thomas Wilson, originally a fellow of King's 

n See Collier's Eccl. Hist. Records, licarum scholarum," &c. "Quam gravis 

Ixvii. p. 80. hsec universa scholarum calraiiitas," &c. 

Burnet, Rep. P. ii. 8. See p. 62 b. p. 210 a. 

p Wood, sub arm. 1550. See also Strype's r Wood, ut supr. p. 12. 

Cranmer, Append. N. xciii. p. 220. viz. A s Catal. MSS. Angl. fol. edit. 1697. in 

letter to secretary Cecil, dat. 1552. Hist. Bibl. Bodl. Praefat. 

q Epistol. lib. un. Commendat. p. 194 a. t See vol. ii. Sect. xx. 
Lond. 1581. "Ruinavn et interitum pub- 


college in Cambridge, preceptor to Charles and Henry Brandon dukes 
of Suffolk, dean of Durham, and chief secretary to the king, published 
a system of rhetoric and of logic, in English". This display of the 
venerable mysteries of the latter of these arts in a vernacular language, 
which had hitherto been confined within the sacred pale of the learned 
tongues, was esteemed an innovation almost equally daring with that of 
permitting the service of the church to be celebrated in English : and 
accordingly the author, soon afterwards happening to visit Rome, was 
incarcerated by the inquisitors of the holy see, as a presumptuous and 
dangerous heretic. 

It is with reluctance I enter on the bloody reign of the relentless and 
unamiable Mary ; whose many dreadful martyrdoms of men eminent 
for learning and piety, shock our sensibility with a double degree of 
horror, in the present softened state of manners, at a period of society 
when no potentate would inflict executions of so severe a nature, and 
when it would be difficult to find devotees hardy enough to die for 
difference of opinion. We must, however, acknowledge, that she en- 
riched both universities with some considerable benefactions : yet these 
donations seem to have been made, not from any general or liberal 
principle of advancing knowledge, but to repair the breaches of refor- 
mation, and to strengthen the return of superstition. It is certain, that 
her restoration of popery, together with the monastic institution, its 
proper appendage, must have been highly pernicious to the growth of 
polite erudition. Yet although the elegant studies were now beginning 
to suffer a new relapse, in the midst of this reign, under the discourage- 
ment of all these inauspicious and unfriendly circumstances, a college 
was established at Oxford, in the constitution of which, the founder 
principally inculcates the use and necessity of classical literature ; and 
recommends it as the most important and leading object in that system 
of academical study, which he prescribes to the youth of the new so- 
ciety w . For, beside a lecturer in philosophy appointed for the ordinary 
purpose of teaching the scholastic sciences, he establishes in this semi- 
nary a teacher of humanity. The business of this preceptor is de- 
scribed with a particularity not usual in the constitutions given to col- 
legiate bodies of this kind, and he is directed to exert his utmost dili- 
gence in tincturing his auditors with a just relish for the graces and 
purity of the Latin language x ; and to explain critically, in the public 
hall, for the space of two hours every day, the Offices, De Oratore, and 
rhetorical treatises of Cicero, the institutes of Quintilian, Aulus Gel- 
lius, Plautus, Terence, Virgil, Horace, Livy, and Lucan ; together with 

u First printed in the reign of Edward * " Latini sermonis ornatu et elegantia 
the Sixth. See Preface to the second cdi- imbuendos diligenter curabit," &c. Sta- 
tion of the Rhetoric, in 1560. He trans- tut. Coll. Trin. Oxon. cap. iv. Again, 
lated the three Olynthiacs, and the four "Cupiens et ego Collegii mei juventutem 
Philippics, of Demosthenes, from the Greek in primis Latini sermonis puritate ac in- 
into English. Lond. 1570. 4to. genuarum artiumrudimentis, convenienter 

w In the year 1554. erudiri," &c. Ibid. cap. xv. 


the most excellent modern philological treatises then in vogue, such as 
the ELEGANCIES of Laurentius Valla, and the MISCELLANIES of Po- 
litian, or any other approved critical tract on oratory or versification *. 
In the mean time, the founder permits it to the discretion of the lec- 
turer, occasionally to substitute Greek authors in the place of these 2 . 
He moreover requires, that the candidates for admission into the col- 
lege be completely skilled in Latin poetry ; and in writing Epistles, then 
a favourite mode of composition 8 , and on which Erasmus 5 , and Con- 
radus Celtes the restorer of letters in Germany , had each recently 
published a distinct systematical work. He injoins, that the students 
shall be exercised every day, in the intervals of vacation, in composing 
declamations, and Latin verses both lyric and heroic d : and in his pre- 
fatory statute, where he describes the nature and design of his founda- 
tion, he declares, that he destines the younger part of his establish- 
ment, not only to dialectics and philosophy, but to the more polite 
literature 6 . The statutes of this college were submitted to the inspec- 
tion of cardinal Pole, one of the chief protectors of the revival of polite 
letters in England, as appears from a curious passage in a letter written 
by the founder, now remaining; which not only displays the cardinal's 
ideas of the new erudition, but shows the state of the Greek language 
at this period. " My lord Cardinalls grace has had the overseeinge of 
my statutes. He muche lykes well, that I have therein ordered the 
Latin tonge [Latin classics] to be redde to my schollers. But he ad- 
vyses me to order the Greeke to be more taught there than I have pro- 
vyded. This purpose I well lyke : but I fear the tymes will not bear 
it now. I remember when I was a young scholler at Eton f , the Greeke 
tonge was growing apace ; the studie of which is now alate much de- 
caid ." Queen Mary was herself eminently learned. But her accom- 
plishments in letters were darkened or impeded by religious prejudices. 
At the desire of queen Catharine Parr, she translated in her youth 
Erasmus's paraphrase on saint John. The preface is written by Udall, 
master of Eton school : in which he much extols her distinguished pro- 

y Statut. Coll. Trin. Oxon. cap. xv. A inde nulla, aut admodum exigua, audito- 

modern writer in dialectics, Rodolphus ribus accedat utilitas," &c. Ibid. cap. xv. 
Agricola, is also recommended to be ex- a Ibid. cap. vii. 

plained by the reader in philosophy, to- b De Ratione conscribendi Epistolas. 

gether with Aristotle. c About the year 1500. At Basil, 1522. 

* Ibid. cap. xv. It may be also ob- It was reprinted at Cambridge by Siberch, 
served here, that the* philosophy reader is and dedicated to bishop Fisher, 1521. 4to. 
not only ordered to explain Aristotle, but d Ibid. cap. xv. Every day after din- 
Plato. Ibid. cap. xv. It appears by im- ner " Aliquis scholarium, a Prsesidente aut 
plication in the close of this statute, that Lectore Rhetorico jussus, de themate quo- 
the public lectures of the university were dam proposito, ad edendum ingenii ac pro- 
now growing useless, and dwindling into fectus sui specimen, diligenter, ornate, ac 
mere matters of form, viz. "Ad hunc mo- breviter dicat," &c. Ibid, cap, x. 
dura Domi meos LECTIONIBUS erudiri * "Caeteri autem, scholares nuncupati, 
cupiens, eos a publicis in Academia lecti- POLITIORIBUS Literis," &c. Ibid. cap. i. 
onibus avocare nolui. Verum, si tempo- f About the year 1520. 
ris tractu, et magistratuum incuria, adeo g Dated 1556. See Life of Sir Thomas 
a primario instituto degenerent Magistro- Pope, p. 226. 
rum regentium Lectiones ordinarise, ut 


ficience in literature 11 . It would have been fortunate, if Mary's atten- 
tion to this work had softened her temper, and enlightened her under- 
standing. She frequently spoke in public with propriety, and always 
with prudence and dignity. 

In the beginning of the reign of queen Elizabeth, which soon fol- 
lowed, when the return of protestantism might have been expected to 
produce a speedy change for the better, puritanism began to prevail ; 
and, as the first fervours of a new sect are always violent, retarded for 
some time the progress of ingenuous and useful knowledge. The 
scriptures being translated into English, and every man assuming a 
right to dictate in matters of faith, and to choose his own principles, 
weak heads drew false conclusions, and erected an infinite variety of 
petty religions. Such is the abuse which attends the best designs, that 
the meanest reader of the New Testament thought he had a full com- 
prehension of the most mysterious metaphysical doctrines in the chri- 
stian faith ; and scorned to acquiesce in the sober and rational expo- 
sitions of such difficult subjects, which he might have received from a 
competent and intelligent teacher, whom it was his duty to follow. 
The bulk of the people, who now possessed the means of discussing all 
theological topics, from their situation and circumstances in life, were 
naturally averse to the splendor, the dominion, and the opulence of an 
hierarchy, and disclaimed the yoke of episcopal jurisdiction. The new 
deliverance from the numerous and burthensome superstitions of the 
papal communion drove many pious reformers into the contrary ex- 
treme, and the rage of opposition ended in a devotion entirely spiritual 
and abstracted. External forms were abolished, as impediments to the 
visionary reveries of a mental intercourse with heaven ; and because 
the church of Rome had carried ceremonies to an absurd excess, the 
use of any ceremonies was deemed unlawful. The love of new doc- 
trines and a new worship, the triumph of gaining proselytes, and the 
persecutions which accompanied these licentious zealots, all contributed 
to fan the flame of enthusiasm. The genius of this refined and false 
species of religion, which defied the salutary checks of all human au- 
thority, when operating in its full force, was attended with consequences 
not less pernicious to society, although less likely to last, than those 
which flowed from the establishment of the antient superstitions. 
During this unsettled state of things, the English reformed clergy who 
had fled into Germany from the menaces of queen Mary, returned 
home in great numbers : and in consideration of their sufferings and 
learning, and their abilities to vindicate the principles of a national 
church erected in opposition to that of Rome, many of them were pre- 
ferred to bishopricks, and other eminent ecclesiastical stations Thes e 
divines brought back with them into England those narrow principles 
concerning church-government and ceremonies, which they had imbi- 
bed in the petty states and republics abroad, where the Calvinistic dis- 

h Loncl. 1.148. fol. 


cipline was adopted, and where they had lived like a society of philo- 
sophers ; but which were totally inconsistent with the nature of a more 
extended church, established in a great and magnificent nation, and re- 
quiring an uniform system of policy, a regular subordination of officers, 
a solemnity of public worship, and an observance of exterior institutions, 
They were, however, in the present circumstances, thought to be the 
most proper instruments to be employed at the head of ecclesiastical 
affairs ; not only for the purpose of vindicating the new establishment 
by argument and authority, but of eradicating every trace of the papal 
corruptions by their practice and example, and of effectually fixing the 
reformation embraced by the church of England on a durable basis. 
But, unfortunately, this measure, specious and expedient as it appeared 
at first, tended to destroy that constitution which it was designed to 
support, and to counteract those principles which had been implanted 
by Cranmer in the reformed system of our religion. Their reluctance 
or refusal to conform, in a variety of instances, to the established cere- 
monies, and their refinements in theological discipline, filled the church 
with the most violent divisions ; and introduced endless intricate dis- 
putations, not on fundamental doctrines of solid importance to the real 
interests of Christianity, but on positive points of idle and empty spe- 
culation, which admitting no elegance of composition, and calling forth 
no vigour of abilities, exercised the learning of the clergy in the most 
barbarous and barren field of controversial divinity, and obstructed 
every pursuit of polite or manly erudition. Even the conforming clergy, 
from their want of penetration, and from their attachment to authori- 
ties, contributed to protract these frivolous and unbecoming contro- 
versies : for if, in their vindication of the sacerdotal vestments, and of 
the cross of baptism, instead of arguing from the jews, the primitive 
Christians, the fathers, councils, and customs, they had only appealed to 
common sense and the nature of things, the propriety and expediency 
of those formalities would have been much more easily and more clearly 
demonstrated. To these inconveniencies we must add, that the com- 
mon ecclesiastical preferments were so much diminished by the seizure 
and alienation of impropriations, in the late depredations of the church, 
and which continued to be carried on with the same spirit of rapacity 
in the reign of Elizabeth, that few persons were regularly bred to the 
church, or, in other words, received a learned education. Hence, almost 
any that offered themselves were, without distinction or examination, 
admitted to the sacred function. Insomuch that in the year 1 560, an in- 
junction was directed to the bishop of London from his metropolitan, 
requiring him to forbear ordaining any more artificers and other illite- 
rate persons who exercised secular occupations 1 . But as the evil was 
unavoidable, this caution took but little effect k . About the year 1563, 

Strype's Grindal, B. i. ch. iv. h. 40. reformed religion. The first mechanic who 

k Numerous illuminated artificers began left his lawful calling to vindicate the cause 

early to preach and write in defence of the of the catholics, was one Miles Hoggard, 


there were only two divines, and those of higher rank, the president of 
Magdalen college 1 , and the dean of Christ Church, who were capable 
of preaching the public sermons before the university of Oxford 1 ". I 
will mention one instance of the extreme ignorance of our inferior 
clergy about the middle of the sixteenth century. In the year 1570, 
Home, bishop of Winchester, enjoined the minor canons of his cathe- 
dral to get by memory, every week, one chapter of saint Paul's epistles 
in Latin : and this formidable task, almost beneath the abilities of an 
ordinary school-boy, was actually repeated by some of them, before the 
bishop, dean, and prebendaries, at a public episcopal visitation of that 
church". It is well known that a set of homilies was published to sup- 
ply their incapacity in composing sermons; but it should be remem- 
bered that one reason for prescribing this authorized system of doctrine, 
was to prevent preachers from disturbing the peace of the church by 
disseminating their own novel and indigested opinions. 

The taste for Latin composition in the reign of Elizabeth, notwith- 
standing it was fashionable both to write and speak in that language, 
was much worse than in the reign of Henry the Eighth, when juster 
models were studied, and when the novelty of classical literature excited 
a general emulation to imitate the Roman authors. The Latinity of 
Ascham's prose has little elegance. The versification and phraseology 
of Buchanan's Latin poetry are 'splendid and sonorous, but not marked 
with the chaste graces and simple ornaments of the Augustan age. One 
is surprised to find the learned archbishop Grindal, in the statutes of a 
school which he founded, and amply endowed, recommending such bar- 
barous and degenerate classics as Palingenius, Sedulius, and Pruden- 
tius, to be taught in his new foundation . These, indeed, were the 
classics of a reforming bishop : but the well-meaning prelate would 
have contributed much more to the success of his intended reformation, 
by directing books of better taste and less piety. That classical litera- 
ture, and the public instruction of youth, were now in the lowest state, 
we may collect from a provision in archbishop Parker's foundation of 
three scholarships at Cambridge, in the year 1567. He orders that the 
scholars, who are appointed to be elected from three the most consider- 

a shoe-maker or hosier, of London ; who, the Pathway to the Towre of Perfection, 

in the reign of queen Mary, wrote a pam- Lond. 1556. 4to. with some other pieces, 

phlet entitled, The Displaying of protest- l Doctor Lawrence Humphrey, men- 

anls, and sundry tlteir practices, &c. tioned in the last note. Of whom it will 

Lond. 1556. 12mo. This piece soon ac- not be improper to observe further in this 

quired importance by being answered by place, that about the year 1553, he wrote 

Lawrence Humphrey, and other eminent an Epislola de Grecis literis et Homeri 

reformers. He printed other pieces of the lectione et imitatione ad prtesidem et socios 

same tendency. He was likewise an En- collegii Magdalence, Oxon. In the Cornu- ' 

glish poet; and I am glad of this oppor- copia of Hadrian Junius, Basil. 1558. fol. 

tunity of mentioning him in that character, m Wood, ut supr. i. 285. 

as I could not have ventured to give him n llegistr. Home, Episc. Winton. fol. 

a place in the scries of our poetry. He 80. b. 

wrote the Mirrour of Love, Lond. 1555. Strype's Grindal, B.ii. ch. xvii. p. 312. 

4to. Dedicated to queen Mary. Also This was in 1583, 



able schools in Kent and Norfolk, hall be "the best and aptest schol- 
lers, well instructed in the grammar, and, if it may be, such as can make 
a verse?" Jt became fashionable in this reign to study Greek at court. 
The maids of honour indulged their ideas of sentimental affection in 
the sublime contemplation of Plato's Phaedo : and the queen, who 
understood Greek better than the canons of Windsor, and was certainly 
a much greater pedant than her successor James the First, translated 
Isocrates**. But this passion for the Greek language soon ended where 
t began : nor do we find that it improved the national taste, or influ- 
enced the writings, of the age of Elizabeth. 

All changes of rooted establishments, especially of a national religion, 
are attended with shocks and convulsions, unpropitious to the repose 
of science and study. But these unavoidable inconveniencies last not 
long. When the liberal genius of protestantism had perfected its work, 
and the first fanaticisms of well-meaning but misguided zealots had sub- 
sided, every species of useful and elegant knowledge recovered its 
strength, and arose with new vigour. Acquisitions, whether in theo- 
logy or humanity, were no longer exclusively confined to the clergy : 
the laity eagerly embraced those pursuits from which they had long 
been unjustly restrained : and, soon after the reign of Elizabeth, men 
attained that state of general improvement, and those situations with 
respect to literature and life, in which they have ever since persevered. 

But it remains to bring home, and to apply, this change in the sen- 
timents of mankind, to our main subject. The customs, institutions, 
traditions, and religion of the middle ages, were favorable to poetry. 
Their pageants, processions, spectacles, and ceremonies, were friendly 
to imagery, to personification and allegory. Ignorance and superstition, 
so opposite to the real interests of human society, are the parents of 
imagination. The very devotion of the Gothic times was romantic. 
The catholic worship, besides that its numerous exterior appendages 
were of a picturesque and even of a poetical nature, disposed the mind 
to a state of deception, and encouraged, or rather authorised, every 
species of credulity : its visions, miracles, and legends, propagated a 
general propensity to the Marvellous, and strengthened the belief of 
spectres, demons, witches, and incantations. These illusions were 
heightened by churches of a wonderful mechanism, and constructed on 
such principles of inexplicable architecture as had a tendency to im- 
press the soul with every false sensation of religious fear. The savage 
pomp and the capricious heroism of the baronial manners, were replete 
with incident, adventure, and enterprise : and the intractable genius of 
the feudal policy, held forth those irregularities of conduct, discordan- 
cies of interest, and dissimilarities of situation, that framed rich mate- 
rials for the minstrel-muse. The tacit compact of fashion, which pro- 

P Blomefield's Norfolk, ii. 224. edit. 1589. And Epistql. lib. i. p. 19. ut 

q Ascham's Scholemaster, p. 19. b. supr. 

xxxvii.] PETRARCH'S SONNETS. 21 

motes civility by diffusing habits of uniformity, and therefore destroys 
peculiarities of character and situation, had not yet operated upon life : 
nor had domestic convenience abolished unwieldy magnificence. Lite- 
rature, and a better sense of things, not only banished these barbarities, 
but superseded the mode of composition which was formed upon them. 
Romantic poetry gave way to the force of reason and inquiry ; as its 
own inchanted palaces and gardens instantaneously vanished, when the 
Christian champion displayed the shield of truth, and baffled the charm 
of the necromancer. The study of the classics, together with a colder 
magic and a tamer mythology, introduced method into composition: 
and the universal ambition of rivalling those new patterns of excellence, 
the faultless models of Greece and Rome, produced that bane of in- 
vention, IMITATION. Erudition was made to act upon genius. Fancy 
was weakened by reflection and philosophy. The fashion of treating 
every thing scientifically, applied speculation and theory to the arts of 
writing. Judgment was advanced above imagination, and rules of cri- 
ticism were established. The brave eccentricities of original genius, 
and the daring hardiness of native thought, were intimidated by meta- 
physical sentiments of perfection and refinement. Setting aside the 
consideration of the more solid advantages, which are obvious, and are 
not the distinct object of our contemplation at present, the lover of true 
poetry will ask, what have we gained by this revolution ? It may be 
answered, much good sense, good taste, and good criticism. But, in the 
mean time, we have lost a set of manners, and a system of machinery, 
more suitable to the purposes of poetry, than those which have been 
adopted in their place. We have parted with extravagancies that are 
above propriety, with incredibilities that are more acceptable than truth, 
and with fictions that are more valuable than reality. 


Petrarch's sonnets. Lord Surrey. His education, travels, mistress, life, 
and poetry. He is the first writer of blank-verse. Italian blank-verse. 
Surrey the first English classic poet. 

OUR communications and intercourse with Italy, which began to pre- 
vail about the beginning of the sixteenth century, not only introduced 
the studies of classical literature into England, but gave a new turn to 
our vernacular poetry. At this period, Petrarch still continued the 
most favorite poet of the Italians; and had established a manner, which 
was universally adopted and imitated by his ingenious countrymen. In 


the mean time, the courts both of France and England were distinguished 
for their elegance. Francis the First had changed the state of letters 
in France, by mixing gallantry with learning, and by admitting the la- 
dies to his court in company with the ecclesiastics 11 . His carousals were 
celebrated with a brilliancy and a festivity unknown to the ceremonious 
shows of former princes. Henry the Eighth vied with Francis in these 
gaieties. His ambition, which could not bear a rival even in diversions, 
was seconded by liberality of disposition and a love of ostentation. For 
Henry, with many boisterous qualities, was magnificent and affable. Had 
he never murdered his wives, his politeness to the fair sex would re- 
main unimpeached. His martial sports were unincumbered by the bar- 
baric pomp of the antient chivalry, and softened by the growing habits 
of more rational manners. He was attached to those spectacles and 
public amusements, in which beauty assumed a principal share ; and 
his frequent masques and tournaments encouraged a high spirit of ro- 
mantic courtesy. Poetry was the natural accompaniment of these re- 
finements. Henry himself was a leader and a chief character in these 
pageantries, and at the same time a reader and a writer of verses. The 
language and the manners of Italy were esteemed and studied. The 
sonnets of Petrarch were the great models of composition. They en- 
tered into the genius of the fashionable manners : and in a court of such 
a complexion, Petrarch of course became the popular poet. Henry 
Howard earl Surrey, with a mistress perhaps as beautiful as Laura, and 
at least with Petrarch's passion if not his taste, led the way to great im- 
provements in English poetry, by a happy imitation of Petrarch, and 
other Italian poets, who had been most successful in painting the anx- 
ieties of love with pathos and propriety. 

Lord Surrey's life throws so much light on the character and sub- 
jects of his poetry, that it is almost impossible to consider the one, with- 
out exhibiting a few anecdotes of the other. He was the son and grand- 
son of two lords treasurers dukes of Norfolk ; and in his early childhood 
discovered the most promising marks of lively parts and an active 

While a boy, he was habituated to the modes of a court at Windsor- 
castle ; where he resided, yet under the care of proper instructors, in 
the quality of a companion to Henry Fitzroy, duke of Richmond, a na- 
tural son of king Henry the Eighth, and of the highest expectations. 

This young nobleman, who also bore other titles arid honours, was 
the child of Henry's affection ; not so much on account of his hopeful 
abilities, as for a reason insinuated by lord Herbert, and at which those 
who know Henry's history and character will not be surprised, because 
he equally and strongly resembled both his father and mother. 

A friendship of the closest kind commencing between these two il- 
lustrious youths, about the year 1530, they were both removed to Car- 
dinal Wolscy's college at Oxford, then universally frequented, as well 
E Sec supra, vol. ii. Sect. xxxv. 


for the excellence as the novelty of its institution ; for it was one of the 
first seminaries of an English university, that professed to explode the 
pedantries of the old barbarous philosophy, and to cultivate the graces 
of polite literature. Two years afterwards, for the purpose of acquiring 
every accomplishment of an elegant education, the earl accompanied his 
noble friend and fellow-pupil into France, where they received king 
Henry, on his arrival at Calais to visit Francis the First, with a most 
magnificent retinue. The friendship of these two young noblemen was 
soon strengthened by a new tie ; for Richmond married the lady Mary 
Howard, Surrey's sister. Richmond, however, appears to have died in 
the year 1536, about the age of seventeen, having never cohabited with 
his wife 6 . It was long, before Surrey forgot the untimely loss of this 
amiable youth, the friend and associate of his childhood, and who nearly 
resembled himself in genius, refinement of manners, and liberal acqui- 

The FAIR GERALDINE, the general object of lord Surrey's passion- 
ate sonnets, is commonly said to have lived at Florence, and to have 
been of the family of the Geraldi of that city. This is a mistake, yet 
not entirely without grounds, propagated by an easy misapprehension 
of an expression in one of our poet's odes, and a passage in Dray ton's 
heroic epistles. She was undoubtedly one of the daughters of Gerald 
Fitzgerald, earl of Kildare. But it will be necessary to transcribe what 
our author himself has said of this celebrated lady. The history of one 
who caused so memorable and so poetical a passion naturally excites 
curiosity, and will justify an investigation, which, on many a similar 
occasion, would properly be censured as frivolous and impertinent. 

From Tuskane came my ladies worthy race ; 
Faire Florence was sometyme her c auncient seate : 
The westerne yle, whose pleasant shore doth face 
Wild Camber's cliffs, furst gave her lively heate: 
Fostred she was with milke of Irishe brest ; 
Her sire an earle : her dame of princes blood : 
From tender yeres in Britain did she rest 
With a kinges child, who tasteth ghostly food. 
Honsdon did first present her to mine eyen: 
Bright is her hewe, and Geraldine she hight. 
Hampton me taught to wish her first for mine, 
And Windsor, alas ! doth chase me from her sight d . 

These notices, it must be confessed, are obscure and indirect. But 
a late elegant biographer* has, with the most happy sagacity, solved 

'' Wood, Ath. Oxon. i. 68. that of Alnaschar by the awakening force 

c i. e. their. d Fol. 5. edit. 1557. of fact. See Life of Lord Surrey i the 

* [Horace Walpole, afterwards earl of edit, of English Poets hy Mr. Alex. Chal- 

Orford, whose ingenious fabric of hypo- mers, and Dr. Nott's Memoirs before the 

thelical illustration has been levelled like works of Surrey and Wyatt. PARK.] 


the difficulties of this little enigmatical ode, which had been before 
either neglected and unatteinpted as inexplicable, or rendered more un- 
intelligible by false conjectures. I readily adopt Mr. Walpole's key 
to the genealogy of the matchless Geraldine 6 . 

Her poetical appellation is almost her real name. Gerald Fitzgerald, 
above mentioned, earl of Kildare in the reign of Henry the Eighth, 
married a second wife, Margaret daughter of Thomas Gray, marquis 
of Dorset: by whom he had three daughters, Margaret, Elisabeth, and 
Cicely. Margaret was born deaf and dumb ; arid a lady who could 
neither hear nor answer her lover, and who wanted the means of contri- 
buting to the most endearing reciprocations, can hardly be supposed to 
have been the cause of any vehement effusions of amorous panegyric. 
We may therefore safely pronounce Elisabeth or Cicely to have been 
Surrey's favorite. It was probably Elisabeth, as she seems always to 
have lived in England. 

Every circumstance of the sonnet evidently coincides with this state 
of the case. But, to begin with the first line, it will naturally be asked, 
what was lady Elisabeth Gerald's connection with Tuscany ? The be- 
ginnings of noble families, like those of nations, often owe somewhat 
to fictitious embellishment: and our genealogists uniformly assert, that 
the family of Fitzgerald derives its origin from Otho, a descendant of 
the dukes of Tuscany: that they migrated into England under the reign 
of king Alfred, whose annals are luckily too scanty to contradict such 
an account; and were from England speedily transplanted into Ireland. 
Her father was an Irish earl, resident at his earldom of Kildare ; and 
she was consequently born and nursed in Ireland. Her mother, adds 
the sonnet, was of princely parentage. Here is a no less exact corre- 
spondence with the line of the lady's pedigree : for Thomas, marquis of 
Dorset, was son of queen Elizabeth Gray, daughter of the duchess of 
Bedford, descended from the royal house of Luxemburgh. The poet 
acquaints us, that he first saw her at Hunsdon. This notice, which 
seems of an indifferent nature and quite extraneous to the question, 
abundantly corroborates our conjecture. Hundsdon-house in Hertford- 
shire was a new palace built by Henry the Eighth, and chiefly for the 
purpose of educating his children. The lady Elizabeth Fitzgerald was 
second cousin to Henry's daughters the princesses Mary and Elisabeth, 
who were both educated at Hunsdon f . At this royal nursery she there- 
fore tasted of costly foode with hinges childe, that is, lived while a girl 
with the young princesses her relations, as a companion in their educa- 
tion. At the same time, and on the same plan, our earl of Surrey re- 
sided at Windsor-castle, as I have already remarked, with the young 
duke of Richmond. It is natural to suppose, that he sometimes visited 
the princesses at Hunsdon, in company with the young duke their 
brother, where he must have also seen the fair Geraldine : yet by the 

e Catal. Roy. and Noble Authors, vol. i. f Strype, Eccl. Mem. vol. i. Append, 

p. 105. edit. 1759. Numb, 71, 


nature of his situation at Windsor, which implied a degree of confine- 
ment, he was hindered from visiting her at Hunsdon so often as he 
wished. He therefore pathetically laments. 

Windsor, alas, doth chase me from her sight ! 

But although the eail first beheld this lady at the palace of Hunsdon, 
yet, as we further learn from the sonnet, he was first struck with her 
incomparable beauty, and his passion commenced, at Hampton-court. 

Hampton me taught to wish her first for mine ! 

That is, and perhaps on occasion of some splendid masque or carousal, 
when the lady Elisabeth Fitzgerald, with the princesses Mary and Elisa- 
beth, and their brother Richmond, with the young lord Surrey, were 
invited by the king to Hampton-court. 

In the mean time we must remember, that the lord Leonard Gray, 
uncle to lord Gerald Fitzgerald, was deputy of Ireland for the young duke 
of Richmond : a connection, exclusive of all that has been said, which 
would alone account for Surrey's acquaintance at least with this lady. 
It is also a reason, to say no more, why the earl should have regarded 
her from the first with a particular attention, which afterwards grew 
into the most passionate attachment. She is supposed to have been 
maid of honour to queen Catharine. But there are three of Henry's 
queens of that name. For obvious reasons, however, we may venture 
to say, that queen Catharine Howard was Geraldine's queen. 

It is not precisely known at what period the earl of Surrey began his 
travels. They have the air of a romance. He made the tour of Europe 
in the true spirit of chivalry, and with the ideas of an Amadis ; pro- 
claiming the unparalleled charms of his mistress, and prepared to de- 
fend the cause of her beauty with the weapons of knight-errantry. 
Nor was this adventurous journey performed without the intervention 
of an enchanter. The first city in Italy which he proposed to visit 
was Florence, the capital of Tuscany, and the original seat of the an- 
cestors of his Geraldine. In his way thither, he passed a few days at 
the emperor's court ; where be became acquainted with Cornelius 
Agrippa, a celebrated adept in natural magic. This visionary philoso- 
pher showed our hero, in a mirror of glass, a living image of Geral- 
dine, reclining on a couch, sick, and reading one of his most tender 
sonnets by a waxen taper?. His imagination, which wanted not the 

E Drayton, Her. Epist. Howard to ard, earl of Surrey, as his page. On pro- 

Geraldine, v. 57. ceeding to the Emperor's court it was 

[Mr. Warton certainly seems to speak agreed between them to change names 

as though this visionary display of the fair and characters, that the earl might take 

Geraldine had been an actuil exhibition; more liberty of behaviour; and beco- 

whereas it was the romantic invention of ming familiarly acquainted with Cornelius 

Tom Nash in his fanciful Life of Jacke Agrippa, " I, (says Nash,) because I was 

Wilton, printed in 1594. Nash under the his suborned Lorde and Master, desired 

character of his hero professes to have tra- him to see the lively image of Geraldine, 

veiled in company with Lord Henry How- his love, in the glasse, and what at that 


flattering representations and artificial incentives of illusion, \vas heated 
anew bv this interesting and affecting spectacle. Inflamed with every 
enthusiasm of the most romantic passion, he hastened to Florence : and, 
on his arrival, immediately published a defiance against any person who 
could handle a lance and was in love, whether Christian, Jew, Turk, 
Saracen, or Canibal, who should presume to dispute the superiority of 
Geraldine's beauty*. As the lady was pretended to be of Tuscan ex- 
traction, the pride of the Florentines was flattered on this occasion : and 
the grand duke of Tuscany permitted a general and unmolested ingress 
into his dominions of the combatants of all countries, till this important 
trial should be decided. The challenge was accepted, and the earl vic- 
torious 11 . The shield which he presented to the duke before the tour- 
nament began, is exhibited in Vertue's valuable plate of the Arundel 
family, and was actually in the possession of the late duke of Norfolk 1 . 

These heroic vanities did not, however, so totally engross the time 
which Surrey spent in Italy, as to alienate his mind from letters : he 
studied with the greatest success a critical knowledge of the Italian 
tongue, and that he might give new lustre to the name of Geraldine, 
attained a just taste for the peculiar graces of the Italian poetry. 

He was recalled to England for some idle reason by the king, much 
sooner than he expected : and he returned home, the most elegant tra- 
veller, the most polite lover, the most learned nobleman, and the most 
accomplished gentleman, of his age. Dexterity in tilting, and graceful- 
ness in managing a horse under arms, were excellencies now viewed 
with a critical eye, and practised with a high degree of emulation. In 
1540, at a tournament held in the presence of the court at Westminster, 
and in which the principal of the nobility were engaged, Surrey was 
distinguished above the rest for his address in the use and exercise of 
arms. But his martial skill was not solely displayed in the parade and 
ostentation of these domestic combats. In 154-2, he marched into Scot- 
land, as a chief commander in his father's army : and was conspicuous 

instant she did and with whom she was If on the guilt tree in the list he set 

talking. He showed her us without more Thy pretty, lovely, pretty counterfeit 1 ; 

ado, sicke, weeping on her bedde, and re- All planet-struck with those two stars, 

solved all into devoute religion for the thy eyne, 

absence of her lonle. At the sight thereof (Out-shining farre his heav'nly Geral- 

he could in no wise refrayne, though he dine} 

had tooke upon him the condition of a There w d no staffe be shiver'd none w d 

servant, but he must forthwith frame an dare 

extemporal dittee." This ditty Nash pro- A beautie with Amanda's to compare. 

vided: it begins : p. 73. PARK.] 

All soule, no earthly flesh, why dost thou h Wood, ubi supr. 

fade? PARK.] i Walpole, Anecd. Paint, i. 7(5. [The 

shield is still preserved at Norfolk House. 

* [Hooker thus alludes to tins challenge Dr N who rejecto the story of the tour- 
in his Amanda, &c. 1653. nament ^ an ." dle feble> J ncdves the 

Were Surrey travel'd now to Tuskanie shield to have been a Inter acquisition of 

OfTring to reach his gauntlet out for thce ; the Norfolk family. PRICE.] 

J i. c, picture. 


for his conduct and bravery at the memorable battle of Flodden-field, 
where James the Fourth of Scotland was killed *. The next year, we 
find the career of his victories impeded by an obstacle which no valour 
could resist. The censures of the church have humiliated the greatest 
heroes : and he was imprisoned in Windsor-castle for eating flesh in 
Lent. The prohibition had been renewed or strengthened by a recent 
proclamation of the king. I mention this circumstance, not only as it 
marks his character, impatient of any controul, and careless of very se- 
rious consequences which often arise from a contempt of petty formal- 
ities, but as it gave occasion to one of his most sentimental and pathetic 
sonnets k . In 1544, he was field-marshal of the English army in the ex- 
pedition to Bologne, which he took. In that age, love and arms con- 
stantly went together : and it was amid the fatigues of this protracted 
campaign, that he composed his last sonnet called the FANSIE of a 
wearied Lover 1 . 

But as Surrey's popularity increased, his interest declined with the 
king ; whose caprices and jealousies grew more violent with his years 
and infirmities. The brilliancy of Surrey's character, his celebrity in 
the military science, his general abilities, his wit, learning, and affabi- 
lity, were viewed by Henry with disgust and suspicion. It was in vain 
that he possessed every advantageous qualification, which could adorn 
the scholar, the courtier, and the soldier. In proportion as he was amiable 
in the eyes of the people, he became formidable to the king. His rising 
reputation was misconstrued into a dangerous ambition, and gave 
birth to accusations equally groundless and frivolous. He was suspected 
of a design to marry the princess Mary ; and, by that alliance, of ap- 
proaching to a possibility of wearing the crown. It was insinuated, 
that he conversed with foreigners, and held a correspondence with car- 
dinal Pole. 

The addition of the escocheon of Edward the Confessor to his own, 
although used by the family of Norfolk for many years, and justified by 
the authority of the heralds, was a sufficient foundation for an impeach- 
ment of high treason. These motives were privately aggravated by those 
prejudices, with which Henry remembered the misbehaviour of Catha- 
rine Howard, and which were extended to all that lady's relations. At 
length, the earl of Surrey fell a sacrifice to the peevish injustice of a 
merciless and ungrateful master. Notwithstanding his eloquent and 
masculine defence, which even in the cause of guilt itself would have 
proved a powerful persuasive, he was condemned by the prepared suf- 
frage of a servile and obsequious jury, and beheaded on Tower-hill in 
the year 1547 m In the mean time we should remember, that Surrey's 

* [The battle of Flodden-field was fought [The earl's body was conveyed to 

in 1513. PRICE.] k Fol. 6. 7. Framlingham in Suffolk, and a Latin epi- 

1 Fol. 18. SeeDugd. Baron, ii. p.275. tapli placed on his tomb, which dates his 

m See Stowe, Chron. p. 592. dial- immature decease in 154G. See Hist. 

loner, dc Republ. Angl. instaurand. lib. ii. Anecd. of the Howards, p. -28. PARK.] 


public conduct was not on all occasions quite unexceptionable. In the 
affair of Bologne he had made a false step. This had offended the king. 
But Henry, when once offended, could never forgive. And when Hert- 
ford was sent into France to take the command, he could not refrain 
from dropping some reproachful expressions against a measure which 
seemed to impeach his personal courage. Conscious of his high birth 
and capacity, he was above the little attentions of caution and reserve; 
and he too frequently neglected to consult his own situation, and the 
king's temper. It was his misfortune to serve a monarch, whose re- 
sentments, which were easily provoked, could only be satisfied by the 
most severe revenge. Henry brought those men to the block, which 
other monarchs would have only disgraced. 

Among these anecdotes of Surrey's life, I had almost forgot to men- 
tion what became of his amour with the fair Geraldine. We lament to 
find that Surrey's devotion to this lady did not end. in a wedding, and 
that all his gallantries and verses availed so little ! No memoirs of that 
incurious age have informed us whether her beauty was equalled by 
her cruelty ; or whether her ambition prevailed so far over her grati- 
tude, as to tempt her to prefer the solid glories of a more splendid title 
and ample fortune, to the challenges and the compliments of so magna- 
nimous, so faithful, and so eloquent a lover. She appears, however, to 
have been afterwards the third wife of Edward Clinton, earl of Lincoln. 
Such also is the power of time and accident over amorous vows, that 
even Surrey himself outlived the violence of his passion. He married 
Frances, daughter of John earl of Oxford, by whom he left several 
children. One of his daughters, Jane countess of Westmoreland, was 
among the learned ladies of that age, and became famous for her know- 
ledge of the Greek and Latin languages". 

Surrey's poems were in high reputation with his cotemporarit s, and 
for many years afterwards. He is thus characterised by the author of 
the old ARTE OF ENGLISH POESIE, whose opinion remained long as a 
rule of criticism. "In the latter end of the same kinges [Henry] raigne, 
spronge up a new company of courtly makers, of whom sir Thomas Wyat 
the elder and Henry earle of Surrey were the two CHIEFTAINES, who 
having travailed into Italic, and there tasted the sweete and stately - 
measures and stile of the Italian poesie, as novices newly crept out of 
the schooles of Dante, Ariosto, and Petrarch, they greatly polished our 
rude and homely manner of vulgar poesie from that it had bene before, 
and for that cause may justly be sayd the first reformers of our English 
meeter and stile ." And again, towards the close of the same chapter. 
" Henry earle of Surrey, and sir Thomas Wyat, between whom I finde 
very little difference, I repute them (as before) for the two chief lan- 
ternes of light to all others that have since employed their penncs upon 
English poesie : their conceits were loftie, their stiles stately, their con- 

n Dugd. Baron, i. 533. ii. 275. " Lib. i. ch. xxxi. p. 48. edit. 1589. 


veyance cleanly, their termes proper, their meetre sweete and well-pro- 
portioned, in all imitating very naturally and studiously their maister 
Francis Petrarcha?." I forbear to recite the testimonies of Leland, Syd- 
ney, Turberville, Churchyard, and Drayton*. Nor have these pieces, 
although scarcely known at present, been without the panegyric of more 
recent times. Surrey is praised by Waller and Fenton ; and he seems 
to have been a favourite with Pope. Pope, in WINDSOR-FOREST, ha- 
ving compared his patron lord Granville with Surrey, he was imme- 
diately reprinted, but without attracting many readers^. It was vainly 
imagined, that all the world would eagerly wish to purchase the works 
of a neglected antient English poet, whom Pope had called the GRAN- 
VILLE of a former age. So rapid are the revolutions of our language, 
and such the uncertainty of literary fame, that Philips, Milton's nephew, 
who wrote about the year 1674, has remarked, that in his time Surrey's 
poetry was antiquated and totally forgotten 1 ". 

Our author's SONGES AND SONNETTES, as they have been stiled, 
were first collected and printed at London by Tottell, in 1557 s . As it 
happens in collections of this kind, they are of various merit. Surrey 
is said, by the ingenious author [editor] of the MUSES LIBRARY, to 
have been the first who broke through the fashion of stanzas, and wrote 
in the heroic couplet. But all Surrey's poems are in the alternate 
rhyme; nor, had this been true, is the other position to be granted. 
Chaucer's Prologues and most of the Canterbury Tales are written in 
long verse : nor was the use of the couplet resumed, till late in the 
reign of Elisabeth -j-. 

p Ibid. p. 50. Others, in 1574. 1585. 1587. Others 

* [Other early testimonials were offer- appeared afterwards. 

ed by Tusser, Harvey, Whitney, Googe, [Dr. Nott has ascertained that there 

Peacham and R. Fletcher. I cite the first were two editions in 1557. Others not in- 

and last of these on account of the rarity eluded by Mr. Warton appeared in 15G7 

of the books in which they occur. and 1569. The reprint by Meares, pub- 

What lookest thou here for to have ? lished with Sewell's biography of Surrey, 

Trim verses, thy fansie to please? is one of the most slovenly and defective 

Of SURRY, so famous, that crave ; books that has appeared. PARK.] 

Looke nothing but rudeness in these. t [ A passing tribute both to Chaucer 

and Surrey may here be noticed from a 

Preface to A hundreth good Pomtes of v rare misce ll any published in 1578, 

and entitled "A Gorgeous Gallery of gal- 

Had your (P. Henry's) praise been limn'd lant Inventions." 

with learned pen . ~ 

Of princely SURREY, once a poet sweet, * f CH ' VU( 1 ER ? et dld ^ e 

Sir Thomas Wyat, or like gentlemen, * En *" S . h f "^ 16 dld P asse 

They on this theame discoursers had beene A ^ 7 S ", ? dr> '. Parnassus 8 P 

meet- And dranke the juice there was : 

If Surrey had not scalde 

R.FletchersNineEngli S hWorthies,lG06. The he ighf of Jove his throne 

' e ii t JiV T> Unto whose head a pillow softe 

BySewell 1717. Reprinted by Curl, lb . Became Mount Htf ^ 

Theatr.Poetar. P .67.edit.l674.12mo. Th with theh . Mus ^ s CQuld 

In quarto It is extraordinary, that Not have pronounct the fame 

A. Wood should not have known this edi- O f D. fuire dame, &C.-!>ARK.] 

tion. Another edition appeared in 1565. 




In the sonnets of Surrey, we are surprised to find nothing of that 
metaphysical cast which marks the Italian poets, his supposed masters, 
especially Petrarch. Surrey's sentiments are for the most part natural 
and unaffected ; arising from his own feelings, and dictated by the 
present circumstances*. His poetry is alike unembarrassed by learned 
allusions, or elaborate conceits. If our author copies Petrarch, it is 
Petrarch's better manner : when he descends from his Platonic abstrac- 
tions, his refinements of passion, his exaggerated compliments, and his 
play upon opposite sentiments, into a track of tenderness, simplicity, and 
nature. Petrarch would have been a better poet had he been a worse 
scholar. Our author's mind was not too much overlaid by learning. 

The following is the poem above mentioned, in which he laments 
his imprisonment in Windsor Castle. But it is rather an elegy than a 

So cruell prison, how could betyde, alas, 
As proude Windsor 1 ! where I, in lust and joy u , 
Wyth a kynges sonne w my childyshe years did passe, 
In greater feastes than Priam's sonnes of Troye. 

Where eche swete place returnes a taste full sower : 
The large grene courtes where we were wont to hove x , 
Wyth eyes cast up into the mayden's tower y, 
And easy siglies, such as folke drawe in love : 

* [Dr. Henry observes that English po- 
etry, till refined by Surrey, degenerated 
into metrical chronicles or tasteless alle- 
gories. Hist, of Eng. xii. 292. Dr. An- 
derson deems his love verses equal to the 
best in our language ; while in harmony 
of numbers, perspicuity of expression, and 
facility of phraseology, they approach so 
near the productions of the present age, 
as hardly to be believed they could have 
been produced in the reign of Henry VIII. 
Brit. Poets, i. 593. PARK.] 

* How could the stately castle of Windsor 
become so miserable a prison ? [Rather : 
what prison could be so miserable as the 
stately castle of Windsor, &c. PRICE.] 

"In unrestrained gaiety and pleasure. 
w With the young duke of Richmond. 
x To hover, to loiter in expectation. So 
Chaucer, Troil. and Cress. B. 5. ver. 33. 

T5ut at the yate there she should outride 
With certain folk he hovid her t' abide. 

y Swift's joke about the Maids of ho- 
nour being lodged at Windsor in the round 
tower, in queen Anne's time, is too well 
known and too indelicate to be repeated 
here. But in the present instance, Surrey 
speaks loosely and poetically in making 

the MAIDEN-TOWER, the true reading, the 
residence of the women. The maiden- 
tower was common in other castles, and 
means the principal tower, of the greatest 
strength and defence. MAIDEN is a cor- 
ruption of the old French Magnu, or Maijue, 
great. Thus Maidenhead (properly May- 
denhithe) in Berkshire, signifies the great 
port or wharf on the river Thames. So 
also, May den- Bradley in Wiltshire is the 
great Bradley. The old Roman camp near 
Dorchester in Dorsetshire, a noble work, is 
called Maiden castle, the capital fortress in 
those parts. We have Maiden-down in 
Somersetshire with the same signification. 
A thousand other instances might be given. 
Hearne, not attending to this etymology, 
absurdly supposes, in one of his Prefaces, 
that a strong bastion in the old walls of 
the city of Oxford, called the MAIDEN- 
TOWER, was a prison for confining the 
prostitutes of the town. [Mai Dun are 
two ancient British words signifying a 
great hill. Thus the Maiden Castle (Edin- 
burgh) is notCastraPuellarum, but a castle 
upon a high hill. Bradley (though Saxon) 
is comparatively a modern adjunct. See 
Baxter's Glossary, 109-163. RITSON.] 




The stately seates, the ladies bright of hewe, 
The daunces shorte, long tales of great delight, 
With wordes and lookes that tygers could but rewe z ; 
Where ech of us dyd pleade the others right. 

The palme-play a , where, dispoyled for the game b , 
\Vith dazed eyes c oft we by gleames of love, 
Have myst the ball, and got sight of our dame, 
To bayte d her eyes whych kept the leads above 6 . 

The gravell grounde f , wyth sieves tied on the helmed 
On fomyng horse, with swordes and frendly hartes ; 
Wyth chere h as though one should another whelme 1 , 
Where we have fought and chased oft with dartes. 

The secret groves, which ofte we made resounde 
Of pleasaunt playnt, and of our ladies prayse, 
Recordyng ofte what grace k eche one had found, 
What hope of speede 1 , what dreade of long delayes. 

The wylde forest, the clothed holtes with grene*, 
With ray nes avayled, and swift y breathed horse, 
With crye of houndes, and merry Wastes betwene 
Where we did chase the fearful harte of force. 

z pity. a at ball. 

b rendered unfit, or unable, to play. 
[Despoiled, is the spoglialo of the Italian: 
stripped for the game. NOTT.] 

c dazzled eyes. 

d to tempt, to catch. 

e The ladies were ranged on the leads, 
or battlements, of the castle to see the 

f The ground, or area, was strown with 
gravel, where they were trained in chi- 

B At tournaments they fixed the sleeves 
of their mistresses on some part of their 

h looks. * destroy. 

k favour with his mistress. 

1 or, success. 

* the holtes, or thick woods, clothed in 
green. So in another place he says, fol. 3. 

My specled cheeks with Cupid's hue. 

That is, "Cheeks speckled with," &c. 

m With loosened reins. So, in his fourth 
Aeneid, the fleet is " ready to avale." That 
is, to loosen from shore. So again, in Spen- 
ser's Februarie : 

They wont in the wind wagge their wrig- 
gle tayles 
Pearke as a peacocke, but now it AVAYLES. 

"Avayle their tayles," to drop or lower. 
So also in his December : 

By that the welked Phebus gan AVAYLE 
His wearie waine. 

And in the Faerie Queene, with the true 
spelling, i. 1. 21. OfNilus: 

But when his latter ebbe gins to AVALE. 

To VALE, or avale, the bonnet, was a phrase 
for lowering the bonnet, or pulling off the 
hat. The word occurs in Chaucer, Troil. 
and Cress. Hi. 627. 

That such araine from heaven gan AVAILE. 

And in the fourth book of his Boethius, 
" The light fire ariseth into height, and the 
hevie yerthes AVAILEN by their weightes." 
pag. 394. col. 2. edit. Urr. From the French 
verb AVALER, which is from their adverb 
AVAL, downward. See also Hearne's Gloss. 
Rob. Br. p. 524. Drayton uses this word, 
where perhaps it is not properly under- 
stood. Eel. iv. p. 1404. edit. 1753. 

With that, she gan to VALE her head, 
Her cheeks were like the roses red, 
But not a word she said, &c. 

That is, she did not veil, or cover, but 
valed, held down her head for shame. 


The void vales" eke, that harbourd us ech nyght, 
Wherewith, alas, reviveth in my brest 
The sweete accord ! Such slepes as yet delyght : 
The pleasant dreames, the quiet bed of rest. 

The secret thoughtes imparted with such trust; 
The wanton talke, the dy vers change of playe ; 
The friendship sworne, eche promise kept so just, 
Wherewith we past the winter nightes away. 

And wyth this thought the bloud forsakes the face ; 
The teares beraine my chekes of deadly hewe, 
The whych as soone as sobbyng sighes, alas, 
Upsupped* have, thus I my plaint renewe! 

" O place of blisse, renewer of my woes! 
Give me accompt, where is my noble fere , 
Whom in thy walles thou doest p eche night enclose, 
To other leefe q , but unto me most dere!" 

Eccho, alas, that doth my sorrow rewe r , 
Returns therto a hollow sounde of playnt. 
Thus I alone, where all my freedom grewe, 
In pryson pine, with bondage and restraint. 
And with remembrance of the greater greefe 
To banish th' lesse, I finde my chief releefe. 3 

In the poet's situation, nothing can be more natural and striking than 
the reflection with which he opens his complaint. There is also much 
beauty in the abruptness of his exordial exclamation. The superb pa- 
lace, where he had passed the most pleasing days of his youth with the 
son of a king, was now converted into a tedious and solitary prison ! This 
unexpected vicissitude of fortune awakens a new and interesting train 
of thought. The comparison of his past and present circumstances re- 
cals their juvenile sports and amusements; which were more to be re- 
gretted, as young Richmond was now dead. Having described some 
of these with great elegance, he recurs to his first idea by a beautiful 

n Probably the true reading is wales or "Whom in thy walles thou doest eche 

walls. That is, lodgings, apartments, &c. night enclose." PRICE.] 

These poems were very corruptly printed - rTT . , 

by Tottel. [The printed copy reads "wide * t How can I'S 1 " SU P U P tear f ? Tca ' 
vales." Dr. Nott has obtained the read- r rhl 'J are sometimes represented as scald- 
ing of the text from the Harrington MS., '" *t, **&< dry, though not sup up. 
and illustrates it by observing: In Surrey's ASHBY.J 
time, not only in noblemen's houses, but p com P anlon - 

in royal palaces when the court was not /, * hou ! d read ***' ^ T1 !?, ed l t !T 

resident, it was usual to take down all the jf ! * 74 reads " eche stone .alas! which 

tapestry and hangings. But why is vales Dr> Nott, with great probability, conceives 

suffered to stand when the same poem to j e . the S enuine text. PRICE.] 

supplies us with the genuine orthography t dear to olbers ' to aIL 



apostrophe. He appeals to the place of his confinement, once the source 
of his highest pleasures : " O place of bliss, renewer of my woes ! And 
where is now my noble friend, my companion in these delights, \vho 
was once your inhabitant? Echo alone either pities or answers my 
question, and returns a plaintive hollow sound !" He closes his com- 
plaint with an affecting and pathetic sentiment, much in the style of 
Petrarch : " To banish the miseries of my present distress, I am forced 
on the wretched expedient of remembering a greater !" This is the 
consolation of a warm fancy. It is the philosophy of poetry. 

Some of the following stanzas, on a lover who presumed to compare 
his lady with the divine Geraldine, have almost the ease and gallantry 
of Waller. The leading compliment, which has been used by later 
writers, is in the spirit of an Italian fiction. It is very ingenious, and 
handled with a high degree of elegance. 

Give place, ye Lovers, here before 

That spent your bostes and bragges in vaine : 

My Ladie's beauty passeth more 

The best of yours, I dare wel sayne, 

Than doth the sunne the candle lyght, 

Or bryghtest day the darkest nyght. 

And therto hath a troth as just 
As had Penelope the faire : 
For what she sayth, ye may it trust, 
As it by wryting sealed were : 
And vertues hath she many moe 
Than I with pen have skill to showe. 

I could reherse, if that I would, 
The whole effect of NATURE'S plaint, 
When she had lost the perfite mould, 
The lyke to whom she could not paint. 
With wringyng handes how she did cry ! 
And what she said, I know it, I. 

I knowe, she swore with raging mynde, 
Her kingdome only set apart, 
There was no losse, by law of kynde, 
That could have gone so nere her hart : 
And this was chiefely all her payne 
She could not make the like agayne.* 

The versification of these stanzas is correct, the language polished, 
and the modulation musical. The following stanza, of another ode 
will hardly be believed to have been produced in the reign of Henry 
the Eighth. 

1 Fol. 10. 



. Spite drave me into Boreas' raigne u , 
Where hory frostes the frutes do bite ; 
When hilles were spred and every plaine 
With stormy winter's mantle white. w 

In an Elegy on the elder sir Thomas Wyat's death, his character is 
delineated in the following nervous and manly quatraines. 

A visage, sterne and milde ; where both did growe, 

Vice to contemne, in vertue to rejoyce ; 

Amid great stormes, whom grace assured so, 

To live upright, and smile at fortune's choyce. 

A toung that serv'd in forein realmes his king, 

Whose courteous talke to vertue did enflame 

Eche noble harte ; a worthy guide to bring 

Our English youth by travail unto fame. 

An eye, whose judgment none affect* could blind, 

Frendes to allure, and foes to reconcyle : 

Whose persingy looke did represent a mynde 

With vertue fraught, reposed, voyde of gile. 

A hart, where dreade was never so imprest 

To hide the thought that might the troth avance ; 

In neither fortune lost, nor yet represt, 

To swell in welth, or yeld unto mischance. 2 

The following lines on the same subject are remarkable. 

Divers thy death do diversly bemone : 
Some that in presence of thy livelyhede 
Lurked, whose brestes envy with hate had swolne, 
Yeld Cesar's teares upon Pompeius' head. a 

There is great dignity and propriety in the following Sonnet on 
Wyat's PSALMS. 

The great Macedon, that out of Persie chased 

Darius, of whose huge power all Asia rong, 

In the riche ark b Dan Homer's rimes he placed, 

Who fained gestes of heathen princes song. 

What holy grave, what worthy sepulchre , 

To Wiattes Psalmes should Christians then purchase ? 

Where he doth paint the ly vely faith and pure ; 

The stedfast hope, the sweete returne to grace 

Of just David by perfite penitence. 

Where rulers may see in a mirrour clere 

The bitter frute of false concupiscence : 

How Jewry bought Uria's deth ful dere. 

u Her anger drove me into a colder y piercing. a Fol. 17. 

climate. * Fol. 16. b chest. 

w Fol. 13. * passion. c repository. 


In princes hartes God's scourge imprinted depe 
Ought them a\vake out of their sinful slepe. d 

Probably the last lines may contain an oblique allusion to some of the 
king's amours. 

Some passages in his Description of the restlesse state of a Lover, are 
pictures of the heart, and touched with delicacy. 

I wish for night, more covertly to plaine, 
And me withdraw from every haunted place ; 
Lest by my chere e my chaunce appeare too plaine. 
And in my minde I measure, pace by pace, 

To seke the place where I myself had lost, 
That day, when I was tangled in the lace, 
In seming slack that knitteth ever most. 

Lo, if I seke, how I do finde my sore! 
And if I flee, I carry with me still 
The venom'd shaft, which doth its force restore 
By haste of flight. And I may plaine my fill 

Unto myself, unlesse this carefull song 
Print in your hart some parcel of my tene f . 
For I, alas, in silence all too long, 
Of mine old hurt yet fele the wound but grene. 5 

Surrey's talents, which are commonly supposed to have been confined 
to sentiment and amorous lamentation, were adapted to descriptive 
poetry and the representations of rural imagery. A writer only that 
viewed the beauties of nature with poetic eyes, could have selected the 
vernal objects which compose the following exquisite ode. h 

The soote season, that bud and blome forth brings, 
With grene hath clad the hill, and eke the vale ; 
The nightingale with fethers new she sings ; 
The turtle to her mate hath tolde her tale : 
Somer is come, for every spray now springs. 
The hart hath hong his old hed on the pale* : 
The buck in brake his winter coate he flings: 
The fishes flete with new repayred scale ; 
The adder all her slough away she slings : 
The swift swallow pursueth the flies smale: 
The busy bee her hony now she mings. 
Winter is worne that was the flowers bale*. 

d Fol. 16. e behaviour, looks. Since frisking fishes lose their finnes 

f sorrow. e Fol. 2. h Fol. 2. And glide with new repaired scale ; 

* [The following lines from Turberville's Then I offeree, with greedie eie 

poems, 1567, denote a close attention to Must hope to finde to ease my smart, 

Surrey. Since eche annoy in spring doth die, 

Since snakes do cast their shrivelled And cares to comfort doe convart. 

skinnes f. 110.-PARK.] 

And bucks hange up their headron pale; 

D 2 


I do not recollect a more faithful and finished version of Martial's 
HAPPY LIFE than the following. 

MARTIAL, the thinges that do attain 
The happy life, be these I finde. 
The riehesse left, not got with pain, 
The frutefull ground, the quiet minde. 
The eqall frend, no grudge, no strife, 
No charge of rule, nor governance ; 
Without disease, the healthful life : 
The houshold of continuance. 
The meane k diet, no delicate fare, 
Trewe wisedom joynde with simplenesse : 
The night discharged of all care, 
Where wine the wit may not oppresse. 
The faithful wife without debate, 
Such slepes as may begile the night : 
Contented with thine own estate, 
Ne wish for death, ne feare his might. 1 

But Surrey was not merely the poet of idleness and gallantry. He 
was fitted, both from nature and study, for the more solid and laborious 
parts of literature. He translated the second and fourth books of Virgil 
into blank verse: and it seems probable, that his active situations of 
life prevented him from completing a design of translating the whole 

This is the first composition in blank verse, extant in the English 
language. Nor has it merely the relative and accidental merit of being 
a curiosity. It is executed with great fidelity, yet not with a prosaic 
servility. The diction is often poetical, and the versification varied with 
proper pauses. This is the description of Dido and Eneas going to the 
field, in the fourth book. 

At the. threshold of her chaumber-dore, 

The Carthage lords did on the Quene attend : 
The trampling steede, with gold and purple trapt, 
Chawing the fome bit there fercely stood. 
Then issued she, awayted with great train, 
Clad in a cloke of Tyre embradred riche. 
Her quyver hung behinde her back, her tresse 
Knotted in gold, her purple vesture eke 
Butned with gold. The Troyans of her train 
Before her go, with gladsom lulus. 
Aeneas eke, the goodliest of the route, 
Makes one of them, andjoyneth close the throng. 

k moderate. m They were first printed [by Tottel] 

i Pol. 16. in 1557. 4to. 


Like when Apollo leaveth Lycia, 

His wintring place, and Xanthus' flood likewise, 

To viset Delos, his mother's mansion, 

Repairing eft and furnishing her quire : 

The Candians, and folkes of Driopes, 

With painted Agathyrsies, shoute and crye, 

Environing the altars round about ; 

When that he walks upon mount Cynthus' top, 

His sparkled tresse represt with garlandes soft 

Of tender leaves, and trussed up in gold: 

His quivering 11 dartes clattering behind his back. 

So fresh and lustie did Aeneas seme. 

But to the hils and wilde holies when they came, 

From the rocks top the driven savage rose. 

Loe from the hill above, on thother side, 

Through the wyde lawnds they gan to take their course. 

The harts likewise, in troupes taking their flight, 

Raysing the dust, the mountain-fast forsake. 

The childe lulus, blithe of his swift steede? 

Amids the plain, now pricks by them, now these ; 

And to encounter, wisheth oft in minde, 

The foming bore, in steede of ferefull beasts, 

Or lion brown, might from the hill descend. 

The first stages of Dido's passion, with its effects on the rising city, 
are thus rendered. 

And when they were al gone, 

And the dimme moone doth eft withold the light ; 
And sliding 'i starres provoked unto sleepe ; 
Alone she mournes within her palace voide, 
And sits her down on her forsaken bed : 
And absent him she heares, when he is gone, 
And seeth eke. Oft in her lappe she hojdes 
Ascanius, trapt by his father's forme. 
So to begile the love cannot be told r ! 
The turrettes now arise not, erst begonne : 
Neither the youth weldes armes, nor they avaunce 
The portes, nor other mete defence for warn 
Broken there hang the workes, and mighty frames 
Of walles high raised, threatening the skie. 

The introduction of the wooden horse into Troy, in the same book, 
is thus described. 

n Perhaps the true reading is, instead Frolick of his full-grown age. 

of quivering, " quiver and darts." q falling. 

p So Milton in Comus, v. 59. r which cannot, &c. 


We cleft the walles, and closures of the towne, 

Whereto all helper and underset the feet 

With sliding rolles, and bound his neck with ropes. 

This fatall gin thus overclambe our walles, 

Stuft with armd men : about the which there ran 

Children and maides 8 , that holy carolles sang. 

And well were they whoes hands might touch the cordes ! 

With thretning chere, thus slided through our town 

The subtil tree, to Pallas temple-ward. 

O native land, Dion, and of the goddes 

The mansion place ! O warlik walles of Troy ! 

Fowr times it stopt in thentrie of our gate, 

Fowr times the harnesse* clattred in the womb, 

The shade of Hector, in the same book, thus appears, 

Ah me I What one ? That Hector how unlike, 
Which erst returnd, clad with Achilles spoiles ! 
Or when he threw into the Grekish shippes 
The Trojan flame ! So was his beard defiled, 
His crisped lockes al clustred with his blood : 
With all such wounds as many he received, 
About the walls of that his native town I 
W T home franckly thus, methought, I spake unto, 
With bitter teres, and dolefull deadly voice. 
" O Troyan light ! O only hope of thine ! 
What lettes so long thee staid? Or from what costes, 
Our most desired Hector, doest thou come? 
Whom, after slaughter of thy many frends, 
And travail of the people, and thy towne, 
Alweried, (lord !) how gladly we behold I 
What sory chaunce hath stain d thy lively face? 
Or why see I these woundes, alas so wide?" 
He answeard nought, nor in my vain demaundes 
Abode : but from the bottom of his brest 
Sighing he sayd : " Flee, flee, O goddesse son ! 
And save thee from the furie of this flame ! " 

This was a noble attempt to break the bondage of rhyme. But blank 
verse was now growing fashionable in the Italian poetry, the school of 
Surrey. Felice Figlinei, a Sanese*, and Surrey's cotemporary, in his 

* That is, Boys and girls, pueri innup- Boys of the Scullery. In the western coun- 
tcpque puellee. Antiently Child (or Chil- ties, to this day, Maid simply and distinct- 
ion) was restrained to the young of the ly means Girl: as, "I have got a Boy and 
male sex. Thus, above, we have, "the a Maid." " My wife is brought to bed of 
Child lulus," in the original Puer Asca- a Maid," &c. &c. 
nius. So the Children of the chapel sig- * arms, armour. 

nifies the Boys of the king's chapel. And * [Or Sianese; a native of Sienna in 

in the royal kitchen, the Children, i. e. the Tuscany. ASHBY.] 


admirable Italian commentary on the ETHICS of Aristotle, entitled 
claims against the barbarity of rhyme, and strongly recommends a total 
rejection of this Gothic ornament to his countrymen. He enforces 
his precept by his own example ; and translates all Aristotle's quota- 
tions from Homer and Euripides into verse without rhyme. Gonsalvo 
Perez, the learned secretary to Philip of Spain, had also recently trans- 
lated Homer's Odyssey into Spanish blank-verse. How much the ex- 
cellent Roger Ascham approved of Surrey's disuse of rhyme in this 
translation from Virgil, appears from the following passage in his 
SCHOLEMASTER, written about the year 1564? u . "The noble lord 
Thomas earle of Surrey, FIRST OF ALL ENGLISHMEN, in translating 
the fourth [and second] booke of Virgill; and Gonsalvo Perez, that 
excellent learned man, and secretarie to king Philip of Spayne w , in 
translating the ULYSSES of Homer out of Greeke into Spanish, have 
both by good judgement avoyded the FAULT OF RYMING. The spying 
of this fault now is not the curiositie of English eyes, but even the 
good judgement also of the best that write in these dayes in Italic. 
And you, that be able to understand no more than ye find in the Italian 
tong; and never went further than the schoole of PETRARCH and 
ARIOSTO abroade, or else of CHAUCER at home, though you have plea- 
sure to wander blindlie still in your foule wronge way, envie not others, 
that seeke, as wise men have done before them, the FAYREST and 
RYGHTEST way. And therefore, even as Virgill and Horace deserve 
most worthie prayse, that they, spying the unperfitness in Ennius and 
Plautus, by trewe imitation of Homer and Euripides, brought poetrie 
to the same perfectnes in Latin as it was in Greeke, even so those, that 
by the same way would BENEFIT THEIR TONG and country, deserve 
rather thankes than disprayse V 

The revival of the Greek and Roman poets in Italy, excited all the 
learned men of that country to copy the Roman versification, and con- 
sequently banished the old Leonine Latin verse. The same classical 
idea operated in some degree on the vernacular poetry of Italy. In 

u I know of no English critic besides, Lucan, Juvenal, Martial and Catullus ; in 

who has mentioned Surrey's Virgil, ex- the Earl of Surry, Daniel, Jonson, Spen- 

cept Bolton, a great reader of old English cer, Don, Shakespear, and the glory of 

books. Hypercrit. p. 237. Oxon. 1772. the rest, Sandys and Sydney." Vindex 

[Meres had spoken of it with commen- Anglicus. PARK.] 

elation before Bolton; but his words are w Among Ascham's Epistles, there is 

nearly a repetition of those uttered by one to Perez, inscribed Clarissimo viro 

Ascham. See Wits Treasury, 1598. An D. Gonsalvo Perisio Regis Catholici Se- 

anonymous writer, in 1644, thus intro- cretario primario et Consiliario intimo, 

duced Surrey with several of his sue- Amico meo carissimo. In which Ascham 

cessors in vindication of the English as a recommends the embassador sir William 

poetic language. " There is no sort of Cecil to his acquaintance and friendship, 

verse, either ancient or modern, which Epistol. Lib. Un. p. 228. b. edit. Lond. 

we are not able to equal by imitation. We 1581. 

have our English. Virgil, Ovid, Seneca, x B. ii. p. 54. b. 55. a edit. 1589. 4t< . 


the year 1528*, Trissino published his ITALIA LIBERATA DI GOTI, or 
ITALY DELIVERED FROM THE GOTHS, an heroic poem, professedly 
written in imitation of the Iliad, without either rhyme, or the usual 
machineries of the Gothic romance. Trissino's design was to destroy 
the TERZA RIMA of Dante. We do not, however, find, whether it be 
from the facility with which the Italian tongue falls into rhyme, or that 
the best and established Italian poets wrote in the stanza, that these 
efforts to restore blank-verse produced any lasting effects in the pro- 
gress of the Italian poetry. It is very probable, that this specimen of 
the Eneid in blank-verse by Surrey, led the way to Abraham Fleming's 
blank-verse translation of Virgil's Bucolics and Georgics, although done 
in Alexandrines, published in the year 1589 y . 

Lord Surrey wrote many other English poems which were never 
published, and are now perhaps entirely lost. He translated the Ec- 
CLESIASTES of Solomon into English verse. This piece is cited in the 
Preface to the Translation of the Psalms f, printed at London in [about} 
1567. He also translated a few of the Psalms into metre. These ver- 
sions of Scripture show that he was a friend to the reformation. Among 
his works are also recited, a Poem on his friend the young duke of Rich- 
mond, an Exhortation to the citizens of London, a Translation of Boc- 
cace's Epistle to Pin us, and a sett of Latin epistles J. Aubrey has pre- 
served a poetical Epitaph, written by Surrey on sir Thomas Clere, his 
faithful retainer and constant attendant, which was once in Lambeth- 
church 2 ; and which, for its affection and elegance, deserves to be 
printed among the earl's poems. I will quote a few lines. 

Shelton for love, Surrey for lord thee chase 3 : 
(Aye me, while life did last that league was tender!) 
Tracing whose steps, thou sawest Kelsall blase, 
Laundersey burnt, and batterd Bulleyn's render b : 
At Mortrell gates c , hopeless of all recure, 
Thine earle halfe dead gave in thy hand his Will ; 
Which cause did thee this pining death procure, 
Ere summers foure tymes seven thou couldst fulfill. 
Ah, Clere ! if love had booted care or cost, 
Heaven had not wonne, nor earth so timely lost d ! 

John Clere, who travelled into Italy with Pace, an eminent linguist 
of those times, and secretary to Thomas duke of Norfolk, father of lord 

* [Dr. Nott conceives Surrey could not * See Aubrey's Surrey, V. 247. 

have seen this poem, as it was not printed a chose. b surrender, 

till after his death. PRICE.] c Towns taken by lord Surrey in the 

y London, 4to. Bologne expedition, [except Kelsal, which 

f [Ascribed hereafter to archbishop Par- was burnt during the incursion into Scot- 

ker. PARK.] land. NOTT.] 

J [The book of Epistles and the transla- d He died in 1 545. See Stowe's Chron. 

tion of Boccace's Epistle to Pinus haye not . p. 586. 588. edit. 1615. 
hitherto been discovered. Du. NOTT.] 


Surrey, in a dedication to the latter, prefixed to his TRETISE OF No- 
BILITIE, printed at London in 154-3 6 , has mentioned, with the highest 
commendations, many translations done by Surrey, from the Latin, 
Italian, French, and Spanish languages. But these it is probable were 
nothing more than juvenile exercises. 

Surrey, for his justness of thought, correctness of style, and purity of 
expression, may justly be pronounced the first English classical poet. 
He unquestionably is the first polite writer of love-verses in our lan- 
guage. It must, however, be allowed, that there is a striking native 
beauty in some of our love-verses written much earlier than Sur- 
rey's. But in the most savage ages and countries, rude nature has 
taught elegance to the lover. 


Sir Thomas Wyat. Inferior to Surrey as a writer of Sonnets. His 
Life. His Genius characterised. Excels in Moral Poetry. 

WITH Surrey's Poems, Tottel has joined, in his editions of 1557 and 
1565, the SONGES and SONNETTES of sir Thomas Wyat the elder a , and 
of Uncertain Auctours. 

Wyat was of Allington-castle in Kent, which he magnificently re- 
paired, and educated in both our universities. But his chief and most 
splendid accomplishments were derived from his travels into various 
parts of Europe, which he frequently visited in the quality/, of an en- 
voy. He was endeared to king Henry the Eighth, who did not always 
act from caprice, for his fidelity and success in the execution of public 
business, his skill in arms, literature, familiarity with languages, and 
lively conversation. W T ood, who degrades every thing by poverty of 
style and improper representation, says, that " the king was in a high 
manner delighted with his witty jests^." It is not perhaps improbable, 
that Henry was as much pleased with his repartees as his politics. He 
is reported to have occasioned the reformation by a joke, and to have 
planned the fall of cardinal Wolsey by a seasonable story c . But he 
had almost lost his popularity, either from an intimacy with queen Anne 

* Lond. 12mo. A translation from the knight of England of worthy memorie for 

French. wit, learnyng and experience, old syr Tho- 

3 Wyat's begin at fol. 19. mas Wiat, wrote to his sonne that the great- 

b Ath. Oxon. i. 51. est mischief amongst men, and least pu- 

[In Sloane MS. 1523, some maxims and nished, is unkyndnes." PARK.] 

sayings of sir T. Wyat are preserved. A c See Miscellaneous Antiquities, Numb, 

letter occurs in the HarleianMSS. Ascham ii. pag. 1C. Printed at Strawberry-hill, 

in his "discourse of the state of Germanic," 1772. 4to. 
has the following tiibutary remark. "A 


Boleyn, which was called a connection, or the gloomy cabals of bishop 
Bonner, who could not bear his political superiority. Yet his prudence 
and integrity, no less than the powers of his oratory, justified his inno- 
cence. He laments his severe and unjust imprisonment on that trying 
occasion, in a sonnet addressed to sir Francis Bryan ; insinuating his 
solicitude, that although the wound would be healed, the scar would 
remain, and that to be acquitted of the accusation would avail but 
little, while the thoughts of having been accused were still fresh in re- 
membrance* 1 . It is a common mistake, that he died abroad of the 
plague in an embassy to Charles the Fifth. Being sent to conduct that 
emperor's embassador from Falmouth to London, from too eager and a 
needless desire of executing his commission with dispatch and punctu- 
ality, he caught a fever by riding in a hot day, and in his return died 
on the road at Shirburn, where he was buried in the great conventual 
church, in the year 1541. The next year, Leland published a book of 
Latin verses on his death, with a wooden print of his head prefixed, pro- 
bably done by Holbein 6 . It will be superfluous to transcribe the pane- 
gyrics of his coternporaries, after the encomium of lord Surrey, in which 
his amiable character owes more to truth than to the graces of poetry, 
or to the flattery of friendship *. 

We must agree with a critic above quoted, that Wyat cooperated 
with Surrey, in having corrected the roughness of our poetic style. But 
Wyat, although sufficiently distinguished from the common versifiers 
of his age, is confessedly inferior to Surrey in harmony of numbers, 
perspicuity of expression, and facility of phraseology f. Nor is he 
equal to Surrey in elegance of sentiment, in nature and sensibility. His 
feelings are disguised by affectation, and obscured by conceit. His de- 
clarations of passion are embarrassed by wit and fancy ; and his style is 
not intelligible, in proportion as it is careless and unadorned. His 
compliments, like the modes of behaviour in that age, are ceremonious 
and strained. He has too much art as a lover, and too little as a poet. 
His gallantries are laboured, and his versification negligent. The truth 
is, his genius was of the moral and didactic species : and his poems 
abound more in good sense, satire, and observations on life, than in 
pathos or imagination. Yet there is a degree of lyric sweetness in the 
following lines to his lutej, in which, The lover complaineth the un- 
kindness of his love. 

* Fol. 44. f [Mr. Headley, a very able critic, was 
e N.SNI-S in Mortem T. Viati, Lond. of opinion that sir T.Wyat deserves equally 

1542. 4to. See also Leland's Encom. of posterity with Surrey, for the diligence 

p. 358. with which he cultivated polite letters, al- 

* [The following epitaph from Leland, though in his verses he seems to have 
as it is short and the book very scarce, wanted the judgement of his friend, who 
may here be appended : in imitating Petrarch resisted the conta- 
Urna tenet cineres ter magni parvaHa^; gion of W sweets.-PARK ] 

Fama per immensas sed volat alta P la- . t ^ harmonious and elegant poem, 
^ s PARK 1 ln one ^^ ie Harrington MSS. dated 1564, 

is ascribed to viscount Rochford, for an ac- 


My Lute awake, performe the last 
Labour, that thou and I shall wast ; 
And end that I have now begonne : 
And when this song is sung and past, 
My lute be still, for I have done. 

As to be heard where care is none, 
As leade to grave in marble stone ; 
My song may pearse her hart as sone. 
Should we then sigh, or sing, or mone ? 
No, no, my lute, for I have done. 

The rockes do not so cruelly 
Repulse the waves continually, 
As she my sute and affection : 
So that I am past remedy. 
Wherby f my lute and I have done. 

Proude of the spoile that thou has gotte 
Of simple hartes, through Loves shot, 
By whom unkind ! thou hast them wonne ; 
Thinke not he hath his bow forgot, 
Although my lute and I have done. 

Vengeance shall fall on thy disdaine, 
That makest but game on earnest paine : 
Thinke not alone under the sunne 
Unquit* to cause thy lovers plaine : 
Although my lute and I have done. 

May chaunce thee h lie withered and olde 
In winter nightes that are so colde, 
Plaining in vaine unto the mone 1 : 
Thy wishes then dare not be tolde : 
Care then who list, for I have done. 

And then may chaunce thee to repent 
The time that thou hast lost and spent, 
To cause thy lovers sigh and swowne ; 
Then shalt thou know beautie but lent, 
And wish and want as I have done. 

Now cease my lute, this is the last 
Labour, that thou and I shall wast ; 
And ended is that that we begonne. 
Now is this song both sung and past, 
My lute be still, for I have done. k 

count of whom, see the following section. f wherefore. 

Mr. Ashby remarks that it is almost a g unacquitted, free. 

translation from Horace. Dr. Nott con- h It may chance you may, &c. 

ceives it does not belong to lord Rochford, j moon. 

but to sir Thomas Wyatt. See his edition k Fol. 33. 

of Surrey, &c. PARK.] 


Our author has more imitations, and even translations, from the 
Italian poets than Surrey ; and he seems to have been more fond of 
their conceits*. Petrarch has described the perplexities of a lover's 
mind, and his struggles betwixt hope and despair, a subject most fer- 
tile of sentimental complaint, by a combination of contrarieties, a spe- 
cies of wit highly relished by the Italians. I am, says he, neither at 
peace nor war. I burn, and I freeze. I soar to heaven, and yet grovel 
on the earth. I can hold nothing, and yet grasp every thing. My prison 
is neither shut, nor is it opened. I see without eyes, and I complain 
without a voice. I laugh, and I weep. I live, and am dead. Laura, 
to what a condition am I reduced, by your cruelty ! 

Pace non trovo, e non ho da far guerra ; 

E temo, e spero, ed ardo, e son en un ghiaccio : 

E volo sopra '1 cielo, e giaccio in terra : 

E nulla stringo, e tutto '1 mondo abraiccio. 
Tal m' ha in prigion, che non m' apre ne serra ' ; 

Ne per suo mi rittien, ne scioglie il laccio ; 

E non m' uccide Amor, e non mi sferra ; 

Ni mi vuol vivo, ni mi trae d' impaccio. 
Veggio senz' occhi, e non ho lingua, e grido ; 

E bramo di perir, e cheggio aita ; 

Ed ho in odio me stesso, ed amo altrui : 
Pascomi di dolor, piangendo rido. 

Egualmente mi spiace morte, e vita : 

In questo stato son, Donna, per vui. m 

* [These conceits found a later imita- him." Mr. Russell further observed, that 

tor in Cowley. ASHBY.] Beuter in his Chronicle was the first who 

1 This passage is taken from Messen asserted that Jordi lived as early as the 

Jordi, a Provencial poet of Valencia. year 1250, and that he was imitated by 

[Mossen, not Messen, Jorge de Sant Petrarch in the passage cited in the text: 
Jorde (not a Provencial but a Limosin while the marquis de Santillana, who died 
poet, whether of Valencia or Catalonia in 1458, countenanced a different hypo- 
does not appear), was posterior to Pe- thesis, by making Jorden contemporary 
trarch by almost a couple of centuries. with himself, according to Sarmiento in 
See Sarmiento, 865. 503. RITSON. MS. his "Memorias para la Poesia :" and if this 
note. I am pretty well satisfied, he adds, authority be allowed, Jordi must have 
that no such person as Messe Jordi ever imitated Petrarch instead of being copied 
existed, Obs. p. 30. By the late masterly by him. But in either case the existence 
poet and elegant scholar, Thomas Russell, of Mossen Jordi is equally proved ; as 
fellow of New Coll. Oxon. the self-satis- also the resemblance of the passages, 
faction here expressed by Ricson was left whichever of the two we suppose to have 
on a shallow basis. That Mossen (An- been the original. Camoens also took the 
glice m ?) Jordi had more than a poetical hint of a similar epigrammatic sonnet, 
existence, is fully ascertained by Velasquez which is appended to Mr. Russell's able 
in his " Origines de la Poesia Castellana," vindication of our poetical historian in the 
1754: the German translator of which Gent. Mag. for Dec. 1782. PARK.] 
work, in 1769, tells us, that "Jordi signi- m Sonn. ciii. There is a Sonnet in imi- 
fies George, his family name not being tation of this, among those of the Uncer- 
known :" but Gaspar Escolano, in Historia tain Auctours at the end of Surrey's Poems, 
de Valencia, identifies him by saying, "that fol. 107. And in Davison's Poems, B. ii. 
he composed sonnets, &c. in the Valencian Canzon. viii. p. 108. 4th edit. Lond. 1621. 
Lemosine language with great applause, 12mo. 
and that Petrarch had taken much from 


Wyat has thus copied this sonnet of epigrams. 

I finde no peace, and all my warre is done : 

I feare and hope, I burne and frese likewyse : 

I flye aloft, yet can I not aryse ; 

And nought I have, yet all the world I season ; 

That lockes n nor loseth, [nor] holdeth me in prison. 

And holdes me not, yet can I scape no wise ; 

Nor lettes me live, nor dye, at my devise, 

And yet of death it giveth me occasion. 

Without eye I se, without tong I playne : 

I wish to perish, yet I aske for helth ; 

I love another, and I hate myselfe ; 

I fede me in sorow, and laugh in all my pairie. 

Lo thus displeaseth me both death and life, 

And my delight is causer of this strife. 

It was from the capricious and over-strained invention of the Italian 
poets, that Wyat was taught to torture the passion of love by prolix and 
intricate comparisons, and unnatural allusions. At one time his love 
is a galley steered by cruelty through stormy seas and dangerous rocks ; 
the sails torn by the blast of tempestuous sighs, and the cordage con- 
sumed by incessant showers of tears : a cloud of grief envelops the stars, 
reason is drowned, and the haven is at a distance P. At another % it is 
a spring trickling from the summit of the Alps, which gathering force 
in its fall, at length overflows all the plain beneath 1 ". Sometimes it is a 
gun, which being overcharged, expands the flame within itself, and 
bursts in pieces 8 . Sometimes it is like a prodigious mountain, which is 
perpetually weeping in copious fountains, and sending forth sighs from 
its forests ; which bears more leaves than fruits ; which breeds wild- 
beasts, the proper emblems of rage, and harbours birds that are always 
singing*. In another of his sonnets, he says, that all nature sympa- 

n That which locks, i. e. a key. I want both eyes and tongue, yet ere I cry, 

Fol. 21, 22. I wish for death, yet after helpe I gape. 

[This Sonnet will be found with some I hate myself, yet love another wight, 

variations in Nugae Antiquae, vol. i. edit. And feed on greefe, in lieu of sweete de- 

1 769. Davison at a little later period thus light. 

turned the same sonnet in his Poetical At the selfe time I both lament and joy, 

Rhapsody, first printed in 1602. edit. 1621. I stil am pleas'd and yet displeased still ; 

p. 108. Love sometimes seemes a god, sometimes 

I joy not peace, where yet no war is found, * OV) _ . . 

I fear and hope, 1 burn yet freeze withall, Sometimes I smke, sometimes I swim at 

I mount to heaven, yet lye I stil on the , . W1 j ' ^ 

und Twixt death and life small difference I 

I nothing hold, yet I compasse all. , , m . ak f \ 

I live he? bond/which neither is my foe. A11 th " ( deere dame ) endure l for 

Nor friend, nor holds me fast, nor lets me 

goe. P Fol. 22. q Fol. 25. 

Love will not let me live, nor let me dye, r Fol. 25. * Fol. 29. 

Nor locks me fast, nor suffers me to scape, * Fol. 36. 


thises with his passion* The woods resound his elegies, the rivers 
stop their course to hear him complain, and the grass weeps in dew. 
These thoughts are common and fantastic. But he adds an image 
which is new, and has much nature and sentiment, although not well 

The hugy okes have rored in the winde, 

Eche thing, methought, complayning in theyr kinde. 

This is a touch of the pensive. And the aposfrophe which follows is 
natural and simple. 

O stony hart, who hath thus framed thee 
So cruel, that art cloked with beauty ! t 

And there is much strength in these lines of the lover to his bed. 

The place of slepe, wherein I do but wake, 
Besprent with teares, my bed, I thee forsake ! u 

But such passages as these are not the general characteristics of Wyat's 
poetry. They strike us but seldom, amidst an impracticable mass of 
forced reflections, hyperbolical metaphors, and complaints that move 
no compassion. 

But Wyat appears a much more pleasing writer, when he moralises 
on the felicities of retirement, and attacks the vanities and vices of a 
court, with the honest indignation of an independent philosopher, and 
the freedom and pleasantry of Horace. Three of his poetical epistles 
are professedly written in this strain, two to John Poines v , and the 
other to sir Francis Bryan : and we must regret, that he has not left 
more pieces in a style of composition for which he seems to have been 
eminently qualified. In one of the epistles to Poines on the life of a 
courtier, are these spirited and manly reflections. 

Myne owne John Poins, since ye delite to know 

The causes why that homeward I me draw, 

And flee the prease w of courtes, where so they go*; 

Rather than to live thrall under the awe 

Of lordly lokes, wrapped within my cloke ; 

To will and lust learning to set a law : 

It is not that, because I scorne or mocke 

The power of them, whom Fortune here hath lent 

Charge over us, of Right 7 to strike the stroke : 

But true it is, that I have always ment 

* Fol. 24. w press, crowd. 

tt Fol. 25. * The court was perpetually moving 

v He seems to have been a person about from one palace to another. 

the court. See Life Of Sir Thomas Pope, y justice. 

p. 46. 


Lesse to esteme them, (than the common sort) 
Of outward thinges that judge, in their entent, 
Without regarde what inward doth resort. 
I graunt sometime of glory that the fire 
Doth touch my heart. Me list not to report 1 
Blame by honour, nor honour to desire. 
But how may I this honour now attaine, 
That cannot dye the colour blacke a liar? 
My Poins, I cannot frame my tune a to fain, 
To cloke the truth, &c. 

In pursuit of this argument, he declares his indisposition and inabi- 
lity to disguise the truth, and to flatter, by a variety of instances. Among 
others, he protests he cannot prefer Chaucer's TALE of SIR THOPAS to 

Praise SIR TOPAS for a noble tale, 
And scorne the STORY that the KNIGHT tolde; 
Praise him for counsell that is dronke of ale : 
Grinne when he laughes, that beareth all the sway ; 
Frowne when he frownes, and grone when he is pale.: 
On others lust to hang both night and day, &c. 

I mention this circumstance about Chaucer, to show the esteem in 
which the KNIGHT'S TALE, that noble epic poem of the dark ages, was 
held in the reign of Henry the Eighth, by men of taste. 

The poet's execration of flatterers and courtiers is contrasted with 
the following entertaining picture of his own private life and rural en- 
joyments at Allingham- castle in Kent. 

This is the cause that I could never yet 

Hang on their sleeves, that weigh, as thou maist se, 

A chippe of chance more than a pounde of wit : 

This maketh me at home to hunt and hawke, 

And in foule wether at my booke to sit ; 

In frost and snow then with my bow to stalke ; 

No man doth marke whereso I ride or go : 

In lusty leas b at libertie I walke : 

And of these newes I fele nor weale nor woe : 

r to speak favourably of what is bad. Thy rich leas 

* perhaps the reading is tongue. Of wheat, rye, barley, vetches, oats and 

b In large fields, over fruitful grounds. pease ; 

[Rather "in pleasant meads," says Ritson. Thy turfy mountains, where live nibbling 

But this emendation is disputed by a sheep, 

writer in the Gent. Mag. for Dec. 1782, And flat meads thatch'd with stover, 

p. 574, who cites the following passage &c. 

from Shakspeare, to evince that leas and Tempest, Act 4. PARK.] 

meads were distinct. 


Save that a clogge doth hang yet at my heele ' ; 
No force for that, for it is ordred so, 
That I may leape both hedge and dyke ful wele. 
I am not now in Fraunce, to judge the wyne, &c. 
But I am here in Kent and Christendome, 
Among the Muses, where I reade and ryme ; 
Where if thou list, mine owne John Poins, to come, 
Thou shalt be judge how do I spende my time. d 

In another epistle to John Poines, on the security and happiness of a 
moderate fortune, he versifies the fable of the City and Country Mouse 
with much humour. 

My mother's maides, when they do sowe and spinne, 
They sing a song made of the feldishe mouse, &c. 

This fable appositely suggests a train of sensible and pointed obser- 
vations on the weakness of human conduct, and the delusive plans of 

Alas, my Poins, how men do seke the best, 

And finde the worse by errour as they stray : 

And no marvell, when sight is so opprest, 

And blindes the guyde : anone out of the way 

Goeth guyde and all, in seking quiet lyfe. 

O wretched mindes I There is no golde that may 

Graunt that you seke : no warre, no peace, no strife : 

No, no, although thy head were hoopt with golde : 

Sergeaunt with mace*, with hawbart 6 , sword, nor knife, 

Cannot repulse the care that folow should. 

Ech kinde of lyfe hath with him his disease : 

Live in delites, even as thy lust would, 

And thou shalt finde, when lust doth most thee please, 

It irketh straght, and by itselfe doth fade. 

A small thing is it, that may thy minde appease ? 

None of you al there is that is so madde, 

To seke for grapes on brambles or on breeres*; 

Nor none, I trow, that hath a witte so badde, 

To set his haye for coneyes over riveres. 

Nor ye set not a dragge net for a hare : 

And yet the thing that most is your desire 

You do misseke, with more travell and care. 


c Probably he alludes to some office * [From Horace ; Submovet lictor. 

which he still held at court; and which ASHBY.] 

sometimes recalled him, but not too fre- e halbert. A parade of guards, &c. The 

quently, from the country. classical allusion is obvious. 

d Fol. 47. e So read, instead of bryars. 


Make plaine thine hart, that it be not knotted 
With hope or dreade : and see thy will be bare h 
From all affectes*, whom vyce hath never spotted. 
Thyselfe content with that is thee assinde k ; 
And use it wel that is to the alotted. 
Then seke no more out of thyself to fynde*, 
The thing that thou hast sought so long before, 
For thou shalt feele it sticking in thy mynde. 

These Platonic doctrines are closed with a beautiful application of 
Virtue personified, and introduced in her irresistible charms of visible 
beauty. For those who deviate into vain and vicious pursuits, 

None other payne pray I for them to be, 
But when the rage doth leade them from the right, 
That, loking backward, VERTUE they may sef 
Even as she is, so goodly fayre and bright ! l 

With these disinterested strains we may join the following single 
stanza, called THE COURTIER'S LIFE. 

In court to serve, decked with freshe aray, 

Of sugred m meates feeling the swete repaste; 

The life in bankets, and sundry kindes of play, 

Amid the presse of worldly lookes to waste : 

Hath with it joynde oft times such bitter taste, 
That whoso joy es such kind of life to hold, 
In prison joy es. fettred with chaines of gold". 

Wyat may justly be deemed the first polished English satirist. I am 
of opinion, that he mistook his talents when, in compliance with the 
mode, he became a sonnetteer ; and, if we may judge from a few in- 
stances, that he was likely to have treated any other subject with more 
success than that of love. His abilities were seduced and misapplied 
in fabricating fine speeches to an obdurate mistress. In the following 
little ode, or rather epigram, on a very different occasion, there is great 
simplicity and propriety, together with a strain of poetic allusion. It 
is on his return from Spain into England. 

Tagus, farewell, that westward with thy stremes 
Turnes up the graines of gold already triede ! 
For I with spurre and sayle go seke the TemesP, 
Gaineward the sunne that shewes her welthy pride : 

h free. ' passions. ' Fol. 45, 46. 

k assigned. m delicious. 

* [Nee te quaesiveris extra. ASHBY.] n Fol. 44. 

f [Virtutem videant, intabescantque pure gold, 

relicta, Pers. Sat. 3. If Surrey copies but p the Thames 
little,' Wyat doth plentifully. ASHBY.] 

~ VOL. III. E 


And to the town that Brutus sought by dreames^ 
Like bended moone r that leanes her lusty 8 side ; 
My king, my countrey I seke, for whom I live : 
O mighty Jove, the wyndes for this me give!* , 

Among Wyat's poems is an unfinished translation, in Alexandrine 
verse, of the Song of lopas in the first book of Virgil's Eneid u . Wyat's 
and Surrey's versions from Virgil are the first regular translations in 
English of an ancient classic poet ; and they are symptoms of the re- 
storation of the study of the Roman writers, and of the revival of ele- 
gant literature. A version of David's Pslams by Wyat is highly ex- 
tolled by lord Surrey and Leland. But Wyat's version of the PENI- 
TENTIAL PSALMS seems to be a separate work from his translation of 
the whole Psaltery, and probably that which is praised by Surrey, in 
an ode above quoted, and entitled, Praise of certain Psalmes of David, 
translated by Sir T. Wyat the elder w . They were printed with this 
title, in 1549. "Certayne Psalmes chosen out of the Psalter of David 
commonly called the vij penytentiall Psalmes, drawen into Englyshe 
meter by Sir Thomas Wyat knyght, whereunto is added a prologe of 
the auctore before every Psalme very pleasant and profettable to the 
godly reader. Imprinted at London in Paules Churchyarde at the 
sygne of thee starre by Thomas Raynald and John Harryngton, cum 
previlegio ad hnprimendum solum, MDXLIX." Leland seems to speak 
of the larger version. 

Transtulit in nostram Davidis carmina linguam, 

Et numeros magna reddidit arte pares. 
Non morietur OPUS tersum, SPECTABILE, sacrum x . 

But this version, with that of Surrey mentioned above, is now lost?; 
and the pious Thomas Sternhold and John Hopkins are the only im- 
mortal translators of David's Psalms. 

A similarity, or rather sameness of studies, as it is a proof, so perhaps 
it was the chief cement, of that inviolable friendship which is said to 
have subsisted between Wyat and Surrey. The principal subject of 
their poetry was the same : and they both treated the passion of love 
in the spirit of the Italian poets, and as professed disciples of Petrarch. 

q a tradition in Geoffrey of Monmouth. determined to print th'em, "that the noble 

r The old city from the river appeared fame of so worthy a knight as was the 

in the shape of a crescent. author hereof, Sir Thomas Wyat, should 

* strong, flourishing, populous, &c. not perish, but remayne." Before each 

1 Fol. 44. u Fol. 49. psalm is inserted an explanatory " Prologe 

w Fol. 16. (See supr. p. 34.) [These of the Auctor," in eight-line stanzas: the 

Psalms were reprinted by bishop Percy translation is throughout in alternate 

with his ill-fated impression of lord Sur- verse. PARK.] 

rey's poems, which perished in the ware- * Naen. ut supr. 

house of Mr. JohnNicholls, 1808. ToWil- * See Hollinsh.Chron. iii. p. 978. col. 2. 

Ham Marquis of Northampton, &c. &c. [Dr. Nott is of opinion that Wyat trans- 

they were inscribed by John Harrington lated no more of the Psalter than the Pe- 

(the father probably of Sir John H.), who nitential Psalms. PRICE.] 


They were alike devoted to the melioration of their native tongue, and 
an attainment of the elegancies of composition. They were both en- 
gaged in translating Virgil*, and in rendering select portions of Scrip- 
ture into English metre. 


The first printed Miscellany of English Poetry. Its Contributors. 
Sir Francis Bryan, Lord Rochford, and Lord Vaulx. The First 
True Pastoral in English. Sonnet-writing cultivated by the Nobility. 
Sonnets by King Henry the Eighth. Literary Character of that 

To the poems of Surrey and Wyat are annexed, as I have before 
hinted, in Tottell's editions, those of " Uncertain Authors a ." This 
latter collection forms the first printed poetical miscellany in the En- 
glish language ; although very early manuscript miscellanies of that 
kind are not uncommon. Many of these pieces are much in the man- 
ner of Surrey and Wyat, which was the fashion of the times. They are 
all anonymous ; but probably, sir Francis Bryan, George Boleyn earl 
of Rochford, and lord Vaulx, all professed rhymers and sonnet-writers, 
were large contributors f. 

Dray ton, in his elegy [epistle] To his dearly loved friend HENRY 
REYNOLDS OF POETS AND POESIE, seems to have blended all the se- 
veral collections of which Tottell's volume consists. After Chaucer 
he says, 

They with the Muses who conversed, were 
That princely SURREY, early in the time 
Of the eighth Henry, who was then the prime 
Of England's noble youth. With him there came 
WYAT, with reverence whom we still do name 
Amongst our poets : BRYAN had a share 
With the two former, which accounted are 
That time's best Makers, and the authors were 
Of those small poems which the title bear 

* [There seems no reason for inferring of Songs and Sonets printed then (in queen 

with Dr. Nott, that Warton intended by Mary's time) were of my making." See 

this expression a larger portion of Virgil notices of , his works prefixed to his " Chal- 

than the Song of lopas mentioned above. lenge, 1593." Hey wood and Harrington 

PRICE.] likewise have dormant claims to the ho- 

a They begin at fol. 50. nourable distinction of coadjutorship. Vid. 

f [Churchyard must also be added to infra, p. 56. and Nugse Antiquae, vol. i. 

this list of contributors on the following p. 95. and ii. 256. ed. 1775. PARK.] 
averment : " Many things in the booke 



Of Songes and Sonnetts, wherein oft they hit 
On many dainty passages of wit b . 

Sir Francis Bryan was the friend of Wyat, as we have seen ; and 
served as a commander under Thomas earl of Surrey in an expedition 
into Brittany ; by whom he was knighted for his bravery c . Hence he 
probably became connected with lord Surrey the poet. But Bryan was 
one of the brilliant ornaments of the court of king Henry the Eighth, 
which at least affected to be polite : and from his popular accomplish- 
ments as a wit and a poet, he was made a gentleman of the privy- 
chamber to that monarch, who loved to be entertained by his domestics d . 
Yet he enjoyed much more important appointments in that reign, and 
in the first year of Edward the Sixth ; and died chief justiciary of Ire- 
land, at Waterford, in the year 1548 e . On the principle of an unbiassed 
attachment to the king, he wrote epistles on Henry's divorce, never 
published ; and translated into English from the French, Antonio de 
Guevara's Spanish Dissertation on the life of a courtier, printed at Lon- 
don in the year last mentioned f . He was nephew to John Bourchier, 
lord Berners, the translator of Froissart ; who, at his desire, translated at 
Calais from French into English, the GOLDEN BOKE, or Life of Marcus 
Aurelius, about 1533 g . Which are Bryan's pieces I cannot ascertain. 

George Boleyn, viscount Rochford, was son of Sir Thomas Boleyn, 
afterwards earl of Wiltshire and Ormond ; and at Oxford discovered an 
early propensity to polite letters and poetry. He was appointed to se- 
veral dignities and offices by king Henry the Eighth, and subscribed 
the famous declaration sent to Pope Clement the Seventh. He was 
brother to queen Anne Boleyn, with whom he was suspected of a cri- 
minal familiarity. The chief accusation against him seems to have been, 
that he was seen to whisper with the queen one morning while she was 
in bed. As he had been raised by the exaltation, he was involved in 
the misfortunes of that injured princess, who had no other fault but an 
unguarded and indiscreet frankness of nature ; and whose character has 
been blackened by the bigoted historians of the catholic cause, merely 
because she was the mother of queen Elizabeth. To gratify the os- 
tensible jealousy of the king, who had conceived a violent passion for 
a new object, this amiable nobleman was beheaded on the first of May, 
in 1536 h . His elegance of person, and spritely conversation, captivated 
all the ladies of Henry's court. Wood says, that at the " royal court 
he was much adored, especially by the female sex f for his admirable dis- 
course, and symmetry of body 1 ." From these irresistible allurements his 

b Works, vol. iv. p. 1255. edit. Lond. Oxon. [Printed again in 1575, small 8vo. 

1759. 8vo. PARK.] 

c Dugd. Bar. ii. 273 a. * See the Colophon. It was printed by 
d Rymer, Feed. xiv. 380. Thomas Berthelett, in 1536, quarto. Often 
e Hollinsh. Chron. i. 61. And ibid. afterwards. Lord Berners was deputy- 
Hooker's Contin. torn. ii. P. ii. pag. 110. general of Calais, and its marches. 
See also Fox, Martyr, p. 991. h See Dugd. Baron, iii. p. 306 a. 
f Cod. Impress. A. Wood, Mus. Ashmol. * Ath. Oxon. i. 44. 


enemies endeavoured to give a plausibility to their infamous charge of 
an incestuous connection. After his commitment to the Tower, his 
sister the queen, on being sent to the same place, asked the lieutenant, 
with a degree of eagerness, " Oh ! where is my sweet brother k ?" Here 
was a specious confirmation of his imagined guilt : this stroke of natural 
tenderness was too readily interpreted into a licentious attachment. Bale 
mentions his RHYTHMI ELEGANTISSIMI', which Wood calls " Songs 
and Sonnets, with other things of the like nature 01 ." These are now 
lost, unless some, as I have now insinuated, are contained in the pre- 
sent collection ; a garland, in which it appears to have been the fashion 
for every FLOWERY COURTIER to leave some of his blossoms. But 
Boleyn's poems cannot now be distinguished*. 

The lord Vaulx, whom I have supposed, and on surer proof, to be 
another contributor to this miscellany, could not be the Nicholas lord 
Vaux, whose, gown of purple velvet, plated with gold, eclipsed all the 
company present at the marriage of prince Arthur ; who shines as a 
statesman and a soldier with uncommon lustre in the history of Henry 
the Seventh, and continued to adorn the earlier annals of his successor, 
and who died in the year 1523. Lord Vaux the poet was probably 
Thomas lord Vaux, the son of Nicholas, and who was summoned to 
parliament in 1531, and seems to have lived till the latter end of 
the reign of queen Mary". All our old writers mention the poetical 
lord Vaux, as rather posterior to Wyat and Surrey ; neither of whom 
was known as a writer till many years after the death of lord Nicho- 
las. George Gascoyne [Thomas Churchyard], who wrote in 1575 
1568], in his panegyric on the ENGLISH POETS, places Vaux after 

Piers Plowman was full plaine, 

And Chauser's spreet was great ; 
Earle Surrey had a goodly vayne, 

LORD VAUX the marke did beatf . 

Puttenham, author of the ARTE OF ENGLISH POESIE, having spoken 
of Surrey and Wyat, immediately adds, " In the SAME TIME, or NOT 
LONG AFTER, was the lord Nicholas Vaux, a man of much facilitie in 

k Strype, Mem. i. p. 280. See Richard Smith's verses, in commen- 
1 ii. 103. m Ubi supr. dation of Gascoigne's Posies. PARK.] 
[One of these has been pointed out n gee what j haye gaid of hig g(m ^ 
at p. 42. and his name was thus united William, in the Life of Sir Thomas Pope, 
with other known contributors in 1575. p . 2 21. In 1558, sir Thomas Pope leaves 
Chaucer by writing purchast fame, him a legacy of one hundred pounds, by 
And Gower got a woorthie name : tne nam e of lord Vaulx. [Warton's con- 
Sweet Surrey suckt Pernassus springs, jecture is now generally admitted to be 
And Wiat wrote of wondrous things : correct. PRICE.] 

Old ROCHFORT clombe the statelie throne f [Prefixed to Skelton's Poems, print- 

Which Muses hold in Helicone. ed by Marsh, 1568. PARK.] 
Then thither let good Gascoigne go, The Christian name is a mistake, into 

For sure his verse deserveth so. which it was easy to fall, 


vulgar makings P." Webbe, in his DISCOURSE OF ENGLISH POETRIE, 
published in 1 586, has a similar arrangement. Great numbers of Vaux's 
poems are extant in the PARADISE OF DAINTY DEVISES ; and, instead 
of the rudeness of Skelton, they have a smoothness and facility of man- 
ner, which does not belong to poetry written before the year 1523, in 
which lord Nicholas Vaux died an old man '. The PARADISE OF 
DAINTY DEVISES was published in 1576, and he is there simply styled 
Lord Vaulx the elder : this was to distinguish him from his son lord 
William, then living. If lord Nicholas was a writer of poetry, I will 
venture to assert, that none of his performances now remain ; notwith- 
standing the testimony of Wood, who says that Nicholas " in his ju- 
venile years was sent to Oxon, where by reading humane and romantic, 
rather than philosophical authors, he advanced his genius very much 
in poetry and history 1 "." This may be true of his son Thomas, whom 
I suppose to be the poet. But such was the celebrity of lord Nicholas's 
public and political character, that he has been made to monopolise 
every merit which was the property of his successors. All these diffi- 
culties, however, are at once adjusted by a manuscript in the British 
Museum, in which we have a copy of Vaux's poem, beginning 1 lothe 
that I did love, with this title : " A dyttye or sonet made by the lord 
Vaus, in the time of the noble quene Marye, representing the image of 
death 8 ." This sonnet, or rather ode, entitled, The aged lover renounceth 
love, which was more remembered for its morality than its poetry, and 
which is idly conjectured* to have been written on his death-bed*, 
makes a part of the collection which I am now examining 11 . From this 
ditty are taken three of the stanzas, yet greatly disguised and corrupted, 
of the Grave-digger's Song in Shakspeare's HAMLET vv . Another of 
lord Vaux's poems in the volume before us, is the ASSAULT OF CUPIDE 


These two are the only pieces in our collection, of which there is un- 
doubted evidence, although no name is prefixed to either, that they 
were written by lord Vaux. From palpable coincidences of style, sub- 
ject, and other circumstances, a slender share of critical sagacity is suf- 
ficient to point out many others. 

These three writers were cotemporaries with Surrey and Wyat ; but 
the subjects of some of the pieces will go far in ascertaining the date 
of the collection in general. There is one on the death of sir Thomas 
Wyat the elder, who died, as I have remarked, in 1541 y . Another on 
the death of lord chancellor Audley, who died in 1544 Z . Another on 

p Fol. 48. [" vulgar makings" seem to l G. Gascoyne says, " The L. Vaux his 

imply vernacular poems. PARK.] dittie, beginning thus, 1 loath, was thought 

q See Percy's Ball. ii. 49. edit. 1775. by some to be made upon his death-bed," 

r Ath. Oxon. i. 19. &c. Epistle to the Young Gentlemen. 

3 MSS. Harl. 1703. [fol. 100.] prefixed to his Poems. 

* [Yet Mr. Warton does not regard a u Fol. 72. w Act v. 

similar supposition as idle when applied x Fol. 71. 

to the Soul-knell of Edwards. Vid. post- y Fol. 89. 

ea, Sect. LII. PARK.] z Fol. 69. 


the death of master Devereux, a son of lord Ferrers, who is said to have 
been a Goto for his counsel* ; and who is probably Richard Devereux, 
buried in Berkyng church b , the son of Walter lord Ferrers, a distin- 
guished statesman and general under Henry the Eighth . Another on 
the death of a lady Wentworth d . Another on the death of sir Antony 
Denny, the only person of the court who dared to inform king Henry 
the Eighth of his approaching dissolution, and who died in 1551 e . 
Another on the death of Phillips, an eminent musician, and without his 
rival on the lute f . Another on the death of a countess of Pembroke, 
who is celebrated for her learning, and her perfect virtues linked as in 
a chaine^ : probably Anne, who was buried magnificently at saint Paul's, 
in 1551,' the first lady of sir William Herbert the first earl of Pembroke, 
and sister to Catharine Parr, the sixth queen of Henry the Eighth 11 . 
Another on master Henry Williams, son of sir John Williams, after- 
wards lord Thame, and a great favourite of Henry the Eighth 1 . On 
the death of sir James Wilford, an officer in Henry's wars, we have here 
an elegy k , with some verses on his picture 1 . Here is also a poem on a 
treasonable conspiracy, which is compared to the stratagem of Sinon, 
and which threatened immediate extermination to the British consti- 
tution, but was speedily discovered 10 . I have not the courage to ex- 
plore the formidable columns of the circumstantial Hollinshed for this 
occult piece of history, which I leave to the curiosity and conjectures 
of some more laborious investigator. It is certain that none of these 
pieces are later than the year 1557, as they were published in that year 
by Richard Tottell the printer. We may venture to say, that almost all 
of them were written between the years 1530 and 1550"; most of 
them perhaps within the first part of that period. 

* Fol. 51. choir of Windsor chapel, O Redemptrix et 

b Stowe, Survey of London, p. 131. Salvatrix, he was answered by one Test- 

fol. ed. wood a singer on the other side, Non Re- 

c Who died in 1558. See Dugd. Bar. demptrix nee Salvatrix. For this irreve- 

ii. 177. rence, and a few other slight heresies, 

d Fol. 73. Margaret. See Dugd. Bar. Testwood was burnt at Windsor. Acts 

ii. 310. and Monum. vol. ii. p. 543, 544. I must 

Fol. 78. There is Sir John Cheek's add, thatsirThomas Phelyppis,or Philips, 

EPITAPIIWM in Anton. Denneium. Lond. is mentioned as a musician before the 

1551. 4to. reformation. Hawkins, Hist. Mus. ii. 533. 

( Fol. 71. One Phillips is mentioned B Fol. 85. 

among the famous English musicians, in h Strype, Mem. ii. p. 317. 

Meres's Wit's Tresurie, 1598. fol. 288. I l Fol. 99. See Life of Sir Thomas Pope, 

cannot ascertain who this Phillips a mu- p. 232. 

sician was. But one Robert Phillips, or k Fol. 36. * Fol. 62. 

Phelipp, occurs among the gentlemen of m Fol. 94, 95. 

the royal chapel under Edward the Sixth n There is an epitaph by W. G. made 

and queen Mary. He was also one of the on himself, with an answer, fol. 98, 99. 

singing-men of saint George's chapel at I cannot explain those initials. At fol. 

Windsor: and Fox says, " he was so no- 111. a lady, called Arundel, is highly ce- 

table a singing-man, wherein he gloried, lebrated for her incomparable beauty and 

that wheresoever he came, the longest accomplishments ; perhaps of lord Arun- 

song with most counterverses in it should del's family. 

be set up against him." Fox adds, that Thus ARUNDELL sits throned still with 

while he was singing on one side of the Fame, &c. 


The following nameless stanzas* have that elegance which results 
from simplicity. The compliments are such as would not disgrace the 
gallantry or the poetry of a polished age. The thoughts support them- 
selves, without the aid of expression and the affectations of language. 
This is a negligence, but it is a negligence produced by art. Here is 
an effect obtained, which it would be vain to seek from the studied or- 
naments of style. 

Give place, ye ladies, and be gone, 
Boast not yourselves at all : 
For here at hand approcheth one 
Whose face will staine you alL 

The vertue of her lively lokes 
Excels the precious stone : 
I wish to have none other bokes 
To reade or loke upon. 

In eche of her two christall eyes 
Smyleth a naked boye : 
It would you all in hart suffise 
To see that lampe of joy e. 

I thinke Nature hath lost the moulde 
Where she her shape did take ; 
Or els I doubt if Nature could 
So faire a creature make. 

In life she is Diana chaste, 
In truth Penelopey ; 
In word and eke in dede stedfast. 
What will you more we sey ? 

If all the world were sought so farre, 
Who could finde such a wight ? 
Her beuty twinkleth like a starre 
Within the frosty night. 

Her rosial colour comes and goes 
With such a comly grace, 
(More redier too than is the rose) 
Within her lively face. 

At Bacchus feaste none shall her mete, 
Ne at no wanton play, 
Nor gasing in an open strete, 
Nor gadding as a stray. 

The modest mirth that she doth use 
Is mixt with shamefastnesse ; 

* [These stanzas may now be assigned Orford's Royal and Noble Authors, vol. i. 

to John Hey wood, the epigrammatist, on p. 83. ed. 1806. PARK.] 
the potent authority of Harl. MS. 1703. See this thought in Surrey, supr. chat 

where the writer's own name is introduced p. 303. 
with some additional stanzas. See Lord 


All vice she doth wholly refuse, 
And hateth ydlenesse. 

O Lord, it is a world to see 
How vertue can repaire 
And decke in her such honestie, 
Whom nature made so faire I 

How might I do to get a graffe 
Of this unspotted tree ? 
For all the rest are plairie but chaffe, 
Which seme good corn to be.P 

Of the same sort is the following stanza on Beauty. 

Then BEAUTY stept before the barre, 
Whose brest and neck was bare ; 
With haire trust up, and on her head 
A caule of golde she ware.i 

We are to recollect, that these compliments were penned at a time 
when the graces of conversation between the sexes were unknown, and 
the dialogue of courtship was indelicate ; when the monarch of England, 
in a style which the meanest gentleman would now be ashamed to use, 
pleaded the warmth of his affection, by drawing a coarse allusion from 
a present of venison, which he calls flesh, in a love-letter to his future 
queen Anne Boleyn, a lady of distinguished breeding, beauty, and mo- 
desty 1 -. 

In lord Vaux's ASSAULT OF CUPIDE, above-mentioned, these are the 
most remarkable stanzas. 

When Cupide scaled first the fort, 
Wherein my hart lay wounded sore ; 
The battry was of such a sort, 
That I must yelde, or die therfore. 

There sawe I Love upon the wall 
How he his baner did display ; 
Alarme, Alarme, he gan to call, 
And bad his souldiours kepe aray. 

The armes the which that Cupid bare, 
Were pearced hartes, with teares besprent. 

And even with the trumpettes sowne 
The scaling ladders were up set ; 
And BEAUTY walked up and downe, 
With bow in hand, and arrowes whet. 

Then first DESIRE began to scale, 
And shrouded him under his targe, &c. s 

p Fol. 67. T SeeHearne'sAvesbury, App. p. 354. 

"Fol. 81. s Fol. 71, 72. 


Puttenham speaks more highly of the contrivance of the allegory of 
this piece than I can allow. " In this figure [counterfait action] the 
lord Nicholas 1 Vaux, a noble gentleman, and much delighted in vulgar 
making 11 , and a man otherwise of no great learning, but having herein 
a marvelous facillitie, made a dittie representing the Battayle and As- 
sault of Cupide so excellently well, as for the gallant and propre apli- 
cation of his fiction in every part, I cannot choose but set downe the 
greatest part of his ditty, for in truth it cannot be amended ; When 
Cupid scaled, <^c. vv " And in another part of the same book : " The 
lord Vaux his commendation lyeth chiefly in the facilitie of his meetre, 
and the aptnesse of his descriptions, such as he taketh upon him to 
make, namely in sundry of his songes, wherein he sheweth the COUN- 
TERFAIT ACTION very lively and pleasantly x ." By counterfait action 
the critic means fictitious action, the action of imaginary beings ex- 
pressive of fact and reality. There is more poetry in some of the old 
pageants described by Hollinshed, than in this allegory of Cupid. 
Vaux seems to have had his eye on Dunbar's GOLDEN TEHCE?. 

In the following little ode, much pretty description and imagination 
is built on the circumstance of a lady being named Bayes. So much 
good poetry could hardly be expected from a pun. 

In Bayes I boast, whose braunch I beare : 
Such joye therin I finde, 
That to the death I shall it weare, 
To ease my carefull minde. 

In heat, in cold, both night and day, 
Her vertue may be sene ; 
When other frutes and flowers decay, 
The Bay yet growes full grene. 

Her berries feede the birdes ful oft, 
Her leves swete water make ; 
Her bowes be set in every loft, 
For their swete savour's sake. 

The birdes do shrowd them from the cold 
In her we dayly see : 
And men make arbers as they wold, 
Under the pleasant tree.* 

From the same collection, the following is perhaps the first example 
in our language now remaining, of the pure and unmixed pastoral : and 
in the erotic species, for ease of numbers, elegance of rural allusion, 
and simplicity of imagery, excels every thing of the kind in Spenser, 

1 for Thomas. x Pag. 51. 

u English poetry. y See vol. ii. p. 441. 

w Pag. 200. z Fol. 109. 


who is erroneously ranked as our earliest English bucolic. I therefore 
hope to be pardoned for the length of the quotation. 

Phyllida was a faire mayde, 
As fresh as any flowre ; 
Whom Harpalus the herdman prayde 
To be her paramour. 

Harpalus and eke Corin 
Were herdmen both yfere a : 
And Phyllida could twist and spinne, 
And therto sing full clere. 

But Phyllida was all too coy 
For Harpalus to winne ; 
For Corin was her onely joy 
Who forst her not a pirme b . 

How often wold she flowres twine ? 
How often garlandes make 
Of couslips and of columbine ? 
And all for Corin's sake. 

But Corin he had haukes to lure, 
And forced more the fielde c ; 
Of lovers lawe he toke no cure, 
For once he was begilde d . 

Harpalus prevayled nought, 
His labour all was lost ; 
For he was fardest from her thought, 
And yet he loved her most. 

Therefore waxt he both pale and leane, 
And drye as clot 6 of clay ; 
His flesh it was consumed cleane, 
His colour gone away. 

His beard it had not long be shave, 
His heare hong all unkempt f ; 
A man fit even for the grave, 
Whom spitefull love had spent. 

His eyes were red, and all forewatcheds, 
His face besprent with teares ; 
It seemed Unhap had him long hatched 
In mids of his dispaires. 

His clothes were blacke and also bare, 
As one forlorne was he : 
Upon his head alwayes he ware 
A wreath of wyllow tree. 

a together. e clod. 

b loved her not in the least. ' uncombed. 

c more engaged in field-sports. g over-watched, that is, his eyes were 

A deceived, had once been in love. always awake, never closed by sleep. 


His beastes he kept upon the hyll 
And he sate in the dale ; 
And thus with sighes and sorowes shryll 
He gan to tell his tale *. 

" O Harpalus, thus would he say, 
Unhappiest under sunne ! 
The cause of thine unhappy day 
By love was first begunne. 

For thou wentst first by sute to seke 
A tigre to make tame, 
That settes not by thy love a leeke, 
But makes thy grief her game. 

As easy it were to convert 
The frost into the flame, 
As for to turne a froward hert 
Whom thou so faine wouldst frame. 

Corin he liveth carelesse, 
He leapes among the leaves ; 
He eates the frutes of thy redresse b ; 
Thou reapes, he takes the sheaves. 

My beastes, awhile your foode refraine, 
And harke your herdmans sounde ; 
Whom spitefull love, alas ! hath slaine 
Through-girt 1 with many a wounde. 

O happy be ye, beastes wilde, 
That here your pasture takes ! 
I se that ye be not begilde 
Of these your faithfull makes k . 

The hart he fedeth by the hinde, 
The buck harde by the do : 
The turtle dove is not unkinde 
To him that loves her so. 

But, welaway, that nature wrought 
Thee, Phyllida, so faire ; 
For I may say, that I have bought 
Thy beauty all too deare I" &c. 1 

The illustrations, in the two following stanzas, of the restlessness of 
a lover's mind, deserve to be cited for their simple beauty, and native 
force of expression. 

* [In the scarce poems of David Murray, h labour, pains. 

printed at London in 1611, we find " the j pierced through. So fol. 113. infr. 

Complaint of the shepherd Harpalus " T T . . ., . , , 

written much on this model. It begins : Hw **jj^!* * lanCG ********** 

Poore Harpalus opprest with love 

Sate by a'christale brooke ; * mates - 

Thinking his sorrows to remove, **' ** 

Oft times therein did looke. PARK.] 


The owle with feble sight 
Lyes lurking in the leaves ; 
The sparrow in the frosty night 
May shroud her in the eaves. 

But wo to me, alas ! 
In sunne, nor yet in shade, 
I cannot finde a resting place 
My burden to unlade. 

Nor can I omit to notice the sentimental and expressive metaphor con- 
tained in a single line. 

Walking the path of pensive thought." 

Perhaps there is more pathos and feeling in the Ode, in which The 
Lover in despaire lamenteth his Case, than in any other piece of the 
whole collection. 

Adieu desert, how art thou spent ! 
Ah dropping tears, how do ye waste ! 
Ah scalding sighes, how ye be spent, 
To pricke them forth that will not haste ! 
Ah ! pained hart, thou gapst for grace , 
Even there, where pitie hath no place. 

As easy it is the stony rocke 
From place to place for to remove, 
As by thy plaint for to provoke 
A frosen hart from hate to love. 
What should I say ? Such is thy lot 
To fawne on them that force P thee not ! 

Thus mayst thou safely say and sweare, 
That rigour raigneth and ruth** doth faile, 
In thanklesse thoughts thy thoughts do weare : 
Thy truth, thy faith, may nought availe 
For thy good will : why should thou so 
Still graft, where grace it will not grow ? 

Alas ! pore hart, thus hast thou spent 
Thy flowryng time, thy pleasant yeres ? 
With sighing voice wepe and lament, 
For of thy hope no frute apperes ! 
Thy true meanyng is paide with scorne, 
That ever soweth and repeth no come. 

ra Fol. 71. [The turn and texture of n Fol. 87. 

these stanzas would appear to be derived favour, 

from the Gospels of St. Matthew, viii. 20. p love, 

and St. Luke, ix. 58. PARK.] q pity. 


And where thou sekes a quiet port, 
Thou dost but weigh against the winde : 
For where thou gladdest woldst resort, 
There is no place for thee assinde 1 ". 
The desteny hath set it so, 
That thy true hart should cause thy wo. s 

These reflections, resulting from a retrospect of the vigorous and 
active part of life, destined for nobler pursuits, and unworthily wasted 
in the tedious and fruitless anxieties of unsuccessful love, are highly 
natural, and are painted from the heart : but their force is weakened 
by the poet's allusions. 

This miscellany affords the first pointed English epigram that I re- 
member ; and which deserves to be admitted into the modern collections 
of that popular species of poetry. Sir Thomas More was one of the best 
jokers of that age ; and there is some probability, that this might have 
fallen from his pen. It is on a scholar, who was pursuing his studies 
successfully, but in the midst of his literary career, married unfor- 

A student, at his boke so plast*, 

That welth he might have wonne, 
From boke to wife did flete in hast, 

From welth to wo to run. 

Now, who hath plaid a feater cast, 

Since jugling first begonne ? 
In knitting of himself so fast, 

Himselfe he hath undonne. 

But the humour does not arise from the circumstances of the character. 
It is a general joke on an unhappy match. 

These two lines are said to have been written by Mary queen of 
Scots with a diamond on a window in Fotheringay castle, during her 
imprisonment there, and to have been of her composition : 

From the toppe of all my trust 
Mishap hath thro wen me in the dust w . 

But they belong to an elegant little ode of ten stanzas in the collection 
before us, in which a lover complains that he is caught by the snare 
which he once defied. x The unfortunate queen only quoted a distich 
applicable to her situation, which she remembered in a fashionable set 
of poems, perhaps the amusement of her youth. 

r assigned. 8 Fol. 109. u Fol. 64. 

4 so pursuing his studies. Plast, so w See Ballard's Learn. Lad. p. 161. 

spelled for the rhyme, is placed. * Fol. 53. 


The ode, which is the comparison of the author's faithful and painful 
passion with that of Troilus^, is founded on Chaucer's poem, or Boc- 
cace's, on the same subject. This was the most favorite love-story of 
our old poetry, and from its popularity was wrought into a drama by 
Shakspeare. Troilus's sufferings for Cressida were a common topic 
for a lover's fidelity and assiduity. Shakspeare, in his MERCHANT OF 
VENICE, compares a night favorable to the stratagems or the meditation 
of a lover, to such a night as Troilus might have chosen, for stealing a 
view of the Grecian camp from the ramparts of Troy. 

And sigh'd his soul towards the Grecian tents 
Where Cressid lay that night 2 . 

Among these poems is a short fragment of a translation into Alex- 
andrines of Ovid's epistle from Penelope to Ulysses a . This is the first 
attempt at a metrical translation of any part of Ovid into English, for 
Caxton's Ovid is a loose paraphrase in prose. Nor were the heroic 
epistles of Ovid translated into verse till the year 1582*, by George 
Turberville. It is a proof that the classics were studied, when they 
began to be translated. 

It would be tedious and intricate to trace the particular imitations of 
the Italian poets, with which these anonymous poems abound. Two of 
the sonnets b are panegyrics on Petrarch and Laura, names at that time 
familiar to every polite reader, and the patterns of poetry and beauty. 
The sonnet on The diverse and contrarie passions of the lover c , is formed 
on one of Petrarch's sonnets, and which, as I have remarked before, 
was translated by sir Thomas Wyat d . So many of the nobility, and 
principal persons about the court, writing sonnets in the Italian style, 
is a circumstance which must have greatly contributed to circulate this 
mode of composition, and to encourage the study of the Italian poets. 
Beside lord Surrey, sir Thomas Wyat, lord Boleyn, lord Vaux, and sir 
Francis Bryan, already mentioned, Edmund lord Sheffield, created a 
baron by king Edward the Sixth, and killed by a butcher in the Nor- 
folk insurrection, is said by Bale to have written sonnets in the Italian 
manner 6 . 

I have been informed, that Henry lord Berners translated some of 
Petrarch's sonnets f . But this nobleman otherwise deserved notice 
here, for his prose works, which co-operated with the romantic genius 
and the gallantry of the age. He translated, and by the king's com- 
mand, Froissart's Chronicle, which was printed by Pinson in 1523. Some 
of his other translations are professed romances. He translated from 

y Fol. 81. z Act v. sc. 1. b Fol. 74. c Fol. 107. 

a Fol. 89. d Supr.p.44. 

* [This is an oversight; since Mr. War- e See Tanner, Bibl. p. 668. Dugd. 

ton has recorded the appearance of Tur- Bar. iii. 386. [And Noble Authors, i. 277. 

berville's Ovid in the year 1567, (see Sect. edit. 1806. also Nevyll's Letters of Lord 

xi.) and it was then printed by Henry Sheffield, p. 61. 1582. PARK.] 

Denham in 12mo. PARK.] { MSS. Oldys. 


the Spanish, by desire of the lady of sir Nicholas Carew, THE CASTLE 
OF LOVE. From the French he translated, at the request of the earl of 
Huntingdon, SIR HUGH OF BOURDEAUX, which became exceedingly 
popular ; and from the same language, THE HISTORY OF ARTHUR, an 
Armorican knight. Bale says^, that he wrote a comedy called Ite in 
vineam, or the PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD, which was frequently 
acted at Calais, where lord Berners resided, after vespers 11 . He died 
in 1532. 

I have also been told, that the late lord Eglintoun had a genuine book 
of manuscript sonnets, written by king Henry the Eighth. There is an 
old madrigal, set to music by William Bird, supposed to be written by 
Henry, when he first fell in love with Anne Boleyn 1 . It begins, 

The eagles force subdues eche byrde that flyes; 
What metal can resyste the flamyng fyre ? 
Doth not the sunne dazle the cleareste eyes, 
And melt the yce, and make the froste retyre? 

It appears in Bird's PSALMES, SONGS, AND SONNETS, printed with 
musical notes, in 161 l k . Poetry and music are congenial; and it is 
certain, that Henry was skilled in musical composition. Erasmus attests, 
that he composed some church services 1 : and one of his anthems still 
continues to be performed in the choir of Christ-church at Oxford, of 
his foundation. It is in an admirable style, and is for four voices. 
Henry, although a scholar, had little taste for the classical elegancies 
which now began to be known in England. His education seems to 
have been altogether theological ; and, whether it best suited his taste 
or his interest, polemical divinity seems to have been his favorite 
science. He was a patron of learned men, when they humoured his 
vanities ; and were wise enough, not to interrupt his pleasures, his con- 
venience, or his ambition. 

g Cent. ix. p. 706. ' I must not forget that a song is 

h Ath. Oxon. i. 33. It is not known, ascribed to Anne Boleyn, but with little 

whether it was in Latin or English. Stowe probability, called her COMPLAINT. See 

says, that in 1528, at Greenwich, after a Hawkins, Hist. Mus. iii. 32. v. 480. 

grand tournament and banquet, there was k See also Nugae Antiq. ii. 248. [And 

the " most goodliest Disguising or Inter- it makes part of a stanza in Churchyard's 

lude in Latine," &c. Chron. p. 539. edit. legend of Jane Shore. PARK.] 

fol. 1615. But possibly this may be ' See Hawkins, Hist. Mus. ii. 533. 
Stowe's way of naming and describing a 
comedy of Plautus. See vol. ii. p. 511. 



The Second Writer of Blank-verse in English. Specimens of early 


tell's edition are annexed SONGES WRITTEN BY N. G. a By the initials 
N. G. we are to understand Nicholas Grimoald*, a name which never 
appeared yet in the poetical biography of England : but I have before 
mentioned him incidentally b . He was a native of Huntingdonshire, and 
received the first part of his academical institution at Christ's college in 
Cambridge. Removing to Oxford in the year 1542, he was elected 
fellow of Merton College : but, about 154-7, having opened a rhetorical 
lecture in the refectory of Christ-church, then newly founded, he was 
transplanted to that society f, which gave the greatest encouragement 
to such students as were distinguished for their proficiency in criticism 
and philology. The same year he wrote a Latin tragedy, which pro- 
bably was acted in the college, entitled, ARCHIPROPHETA, sive JO- 
HANNES BAPTISTA, TRAGGEDIA, that is, The Arch-prophet, or Saint 
John Baptist, a tragedy, and dedicated to the dean Richard Cox c . In 
the year 154<8 d , he explained all the four books of Virgil's GeorgicsJ 
in a regular prose Latin paraphrase, in the public hall of his college e . 
He wrote also explanatory commentaries or lectures on the Andria of 
Terence, the Epistles of Horace, and many pieces of Cicero, perhaps 
for the same auditory. He translated Tully's Offices into English. 
This translation, which is dedicated to the learned Thirlby bishop of 
Ely, was printed at London, 1553 f . He also familiarised some of the 
purest Greek classics -by English versions, which I believe were never 
printed. Among others was the CYROPJEDIA. Bale the biographer, 
and bishop of Ossory, says, that he turned Chaucer's TROILUS into a 
play; but whether this piece was in Latin or English, we are still to 
seek : and the word Comedia, which Bale uses on this occasion, is with- 
out precision or distinction. The same may be said of what Bale calls 

a They begin with fol. 113. They might perhaps be written earlier. 

* [or Grimaold, according to Barnaby PARK.] 

Googe ; but Nicolas Grimalde is the poet's c Printed, Colon. 1 548. 8vo. (See vol. ii. 

own orthography. PARK.] p. 525.) [A MS. copy occurs in the Bri- 

b See vol. ii. p. 493. [At this place the tish Museum, Bibl. Reg. 12. A. xlvi. 

initials E. G. not N. G. are incidentally PARK.] 

mentioned : an error which, with many of d 2 Edw. VI. 

our laureat's minor hallucinations, escaped J [And the Bucolics also, added Her- 

the Argus eyes of Ritson. PARK.] bert in a MS. note. PARK.] 

f [And yet in 1551, Turner's Preset- e Printed at London in 1591. 8vo. 

vative or Triacle against the Poyson of ' In octavo. Again, 1556. 1558, 

Pelagius, had a copy of verses prefixed by 1574. 1583. 1596. 
Nicholas Grimoald of Merton college. 



his FAME, a comedy. Bale also recites his System of Rhetoric for the use 
of Englishmen &, which seems to be the course of the rhetorical lectures 
I have mentioned. It is to be wished, that Bale, who appears to have 
been his friend h , and therefore possessed the opportunities of informa- 
tion, had given us a more exact and full detail, at least of such of Gri- 
moald's works as are now lost, or, if remaining, are unprinted 1 . Un- 
doubtedly this is the same person, called by Strype, one Grimbold, who 
was chaplain to bishop Ridley, and who was employed by that prelate, 
while in prison, to translate into English, Laurentio Valla's book against 
the fiction of Constantine's DONATION, with some other popular Latin 
pieces against the papists k . In the ecclesiastical history of Mary's reign, 
he appears to have been imprisoned for heresy, and to have saved his 
life, if not his credit, by a recantation. But theology does not seem to 
have been his talent, nor the glories of martyrdom to have made any 
part of his ambition. One of his plans, but which never took effect, 
was to print a new edition of Josephus Iscanus's poem on the TROJAN 
WAR, with emendations from the most correct manuscripts 1 *. 

I have taken more pains to introduce this Nicholas Grimoald to the 
reader's acquaintance, because he is the second English poet after lord 
Surrey, who wrote in blank-verse. Nor is it his only praise, that he 
was the first who followed in this new path of versification. To the 
style of blank- verse exhibited by Surrey, he added new strength, ele- 
gance, and modulation. In the disposition and conduct of his caden- 
cies, he often approaches to the legitimate structure of the improved 
blank-verse : but we cannot suppose, that he is entirely free from those 
dissonancies and asperities, which still adhered to the general character 
and state of our diction f. 

g Rhetorica in usum Britannorum. Ne had the Muses loste so fyne a floure, 

h Bale cites his comment, or paraphrase Nor had Minerva wept to leave thee so: 

on the first Eclogue of Virgil, addressed If wysdome myght have fled the fatall 
ad Amicum Joannem Baleum, viii. 99. howre, 

1 Titles of many others of his pieces Thou hadste not yet ben suffred for to go. 

may be seen in Bale, ubi supr. A thousande doltysh geese we myght have 

k See Strype's Cranmer, B. in. c. 11. sparde 

p. 343. And Grindal, 8. Fox, edit. i. A thousand ' e wytles hea ds death might 

1047. And Wood, Ath. Oxon. i. 178. have found) 

1 Bale ubi su P r - And taken them for whom no man had 

* [An epitaph on the death of Nicolas carde 

Grimaold appeared in the > very scarce And la de ' them lowe in d obH- 

poems of Barn. Googe, 1563, and has vious grounde. 

been reprinted by Mr Steevens in his But Fortune favours fooleSj as old men 

Account of Ancient .translations from save 

Classic Authors. (Reed's Shaksp. ii. 114.) And lets th ; m , and takes the 

The following extract relates more parti- awaye." -PARK, 
cularly to the person commemorated. 

" Yf that wyt or worthy eloquens t C 1 * w uld seem from the following 

Or learnyng deape could move him lines in Barnabe Googe's poems, that Gri- 

[ Death] to forbeare ; moald had after lord Surrey, translated 

O GRIMAOLD, then thou hadste not yet P ortion of Virgil; which the bishop of 

gon hence, Dunkeld afterwards completed. 

But here hadst sene full many an aged The noble H[enry] Hawarde once 

yeare. That raught eternal fame, 


In his poem on the DEATH OF MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO are these 
lines. The assassins of Cicero are said to relent, 


They his bare neck beheld, and his hore heyres, 

Scant could they hold the teares that forth gan burst, 

And almost fell from bloody handes the swoords ; 

Only the stern Herennius, with grym looke, 

Dastards, why stand you still ? he sayth : and straight 

Swaps off the head with his presumptuous yron. 

Ne with that slaughter yet is he not filld : 

Fowl shame on shame to hepe, is his delite. 

Wherefore the handes also doth he off-smyte, 

Which durst Antonius' life so lifely paint. 

Him, yelding strayned ghost m , from welkin hye 

With lothly chere lord Phebus gan behold ; 

And in black clowde, they say, long hid his hed. 

The Latine Muses, and the Grayes", they wept, 

And for his fall eternally shall wepe. 

And lo ! hart-persing PITHO, strange to tell, 

Who had to him suffisde both sense and wordes, 

When so he spake, and drest with nectar soote 

That flowyng toung, when his windpipe disclosde, 

Fled with her fleeyng friend : and, out, alas ! 

Hath left the earth, ne will no more returneP. 

Nor is this passage unsupported by a warmth of imagination, and the 
spirit of pathetic poetry. The general cast of the whole poem shows, 
that our author was not ill qualified for dramatic composition. 

Another of Grimoald's blank-verse poems is on the death of Zoroas 
an Egyptian astronomer, who was killed in Alexander's first battle with 
the Persians *. It is opened with this nervous and animated exordium. 

Now clattering armes, now raging broyls of warre, 

Gan passe the noyes of dredfull trompetts clang ' ; 

Shrowded with shafts the heaven, with cloud of darts 

Covered the ayre. Against full-fatted bulles 

As forceth kindled yre the lyons keen, 

Whose greedy gutts the gnawing honger pricks, 

So Macedons against the Persians fare 1 ". 

With mighty style did bryng a pece * And is a translation from part of the 

Of Virgil's worke in frame. Latin Alexandreis of Philip Gualtier de 

And GRIMAOLD gave the lyke attempt, Chatillon, bishop of Megala, who flourish- 

And Douglas won the ball, ed in the thirteenth century. See Stee- 

Whose famouse wyt in Scottysh ryme vens's Shaksp. vii. 337. ed. 1803. PARK.] 

Had made an ende of all." PARK.] q The reader must recollect Shak- 

m His constrained spirit. speare's 

n Graiee. Greek. Loud larums, neighing steeds, and TRUM- 

Peitho, the goddess of persuasion. FRETS' CLANG. 

p Fol. 117. r Fol. 115. 

F 2 


In the midst of the tumult and hurry of the battle, appears the sage 
philosopher Zoroas ; a classical and elegant description of whose skill in 
natural science, forms a pleasing constrast amidst images of death and 
destruction ; and is inserted with great propriety, as it is necessary to 
introduce the history of his catastrophe. 

Shakyng her bloudy hands Bellone, among 

The Perses, soweth all kynde of cruel death. 

Him smites the club ; him wounds far-striking bow ; 

And him the sling, and him the shinyng swoord. 

Right over stood, in snow-white armour brave 8 , 

The Memphite Zoroas, a cunning clarke, 

To whom the heaven lay open as his boke : 

And in celestiall bodies he could tell 

The movyng, metyng, light, aspect, eclips, 

And influence, and constellacions all. 

What earthly chances would betide : what yere 

Of plenty * stord : what signe forwarned derth : 

How winter gendreth snow: what temperature 

In the prime tide" doth season well the soyl. 

Why sommer burns : why autumne hath ripe grapes : 

Whether the circle quadrate may become : 

Whether our tunes heavens harmony can yeld w : 

What starre doth let x the hurtfull sire? to rage, 

Or him more milde what opposition makes : 

What fire doth qualify Mavorses 2 fire, &c. a 

Our astronomer, finding by the stars that he is destined to die 
speedily, chooses to be killed by the hand of Alexander, whom he en- 
deavours to irritate to an attack, first by throwing darts, and then by 
reproachful speeches. 

Shameful stain 

Of mothers bed I Why losest thou thy strokes 
Cowards among ? Turne thee to me, in case 
Manhode there be so much left in thy hart : 
Come, fight with me, that on my helmet weare 
Apolloes laurel, both for learnings laude, 
And eke for martial praise : that in my shielde 
The sevenfold sophie of Minerve contain. 
A match more meet, sir king, than any here. 

Alexander is for a while unwilling to revenge this insult on a man 
eminent for wisdom. 

5 brave, is richly decked. x hinder. 

1 with plenty. u spring, prtntemps. y Saturn. [SirSus. RITSON.] 

w Whether any music made by man z of Mavors, or the planet Mars, 

can resemble that of the spheres. a Fol. 115. 


The noble prince amoved, takes ruthe upon 
The wilful wight ; and with soft wordes, ayen : 

monstrous man, quod he, What so thou art ! 

1 pray thee live, ne do not with thy death 
This lodge of lore b , the Muses mansion marr, 
That treasure-house this hand shall never spoyl. 
My sword shall never bruse that skilfull braine, 
Long-gathered heapes of Science sone to spill. 
O how faire frutes may you to mortal men 
From WISDOMES garden geve I How many may, 
By you, the wiser and the better prove ! 

What error, what mad moode, what frenzy, thee 
Perswades, to be downe sent to depe Averne, 
Where no arts florish, nor no knowledge 'vailes 
For all these sawes c ? When thus the soverain sayd, 
Alighted Zoroas, &c. d 

I have a suspicion, that these two pieces in blank-verse, if not frag- 
ments of larger works, were finished in their present state, as prolusions, 
or illustrative practical specimens, for our author's course of lectures in 
rhetoric. In that case, they were written so early as the year 154?7. 
There is positive proof, that they appeared not later than 1557, when 
they were first printed by Tottell. 

I have already mentioned lord Surrey's Virgil ; and for the sake of 
juxtaposition, will here produce a third specimen* of early blank- verse, 
little known. In the year 1590, William Vallans published a blank- 
verse poem, entitled, A TALE OF TWO SWANNES, which, under a poetic 
fiction, describes the situation and antiquities of several towns in Hert- 
fordshire. The author, a native or inhabitant of Hertfordshire, seems 
to have been connected with Camden and other ingenious antiquaries 
of his age. I cite the exordium. 

When Nature, nurse of every living thing, 
Had clad her charge in brave and new array ; 
The hils rejoyst to see themselves so fine : 
The fields and woods grew proud therof also : 
The medowes with their partie-colour'd coates, 
Like to the rainebow in the azurd skie, 
Gave just occasion to the cheerfull birdes 
With sweetest note to singe their nurse's praise. 
Among the which, the merrie nightingale 
With swete and swete, her breast again a thorne, 
Ringes out all night, &c. e 

b his head. Aske's Elizabetha Triumphans, 1588. 

lessons of wisdom. PARK.] 

d Fol. 115. 116. e London, Printed by Roger Ward for 

* [The intervening specimens appear- John Sheldrake, MDXC. 4to. 3 sheets. He 

ed in Gascoigne's Steele Glass, 1576, and mentions most of the seats in Hertford- 


Vallans is probably the author of a piece much better known, a histo- 
ry, by many held to be a romance, but which proves the writer a dili- 
gent searcher into antient records, entitled, "The HONOURABLE PREN- 
TICE, shewed in the Life and Death of Sir JOHN HAWKEWOOD some- 
time Prentice of London, interlaced with the famous History of the 
noble FITZWALTER Lord of Woodham in Essex f , and of the poisoning 
of his faire daughter. Also of the merry Customes of DUNMOWE, &c. 
Whereunto is annexed the most lamentable murther of Robert Hall at 
the High Altar in Westminster Abbey g ." 

The reader will observe, that what has been here said about early 
specimens of blank-verse, is to be restrained to poems not written for 
the stage. Long before Vallans's Two SWANNES, many theatrical pieces 
in blank- verse had appeared ; the first of which is, The TRAGEDY OF 
GORBODUC, written in 1561. The second is George Gascoigne's JO- 
CAST A, a tragedy, acted at Gray's-inn, in 1566. George Peele had 
also published his tragedy in blank-verse of DAVID AND BETHSABE, 
about the year 1579 h . HIERONYMO, a tragedy also without rhyme, 
was acted before 1590. But this point, which is here only transiently 
mentioned, will be more fully considered hereafter, in its proper place. 
We will now return to our author Grimoald. 

Grimoald, as a writer of verses in rhyme, yields to none of his co- 
temporaries, for a masterly choice of cfiaste expression, and the concise 
elegancies of didactic versification. Some of the couplets, in his poem 
IN PRAISE OF MODERATION, have all the smartness which marks the 
modern style of sententious poetry, and would have done honour to 
Pope's ethic epistles. 

The auncient Time commended not for nought 

The Mean. What better thyng can there be sought? 

In meane is vertue placed : on either side, 

Both right and left, amisse a man shall slide. 

Icar, with sire 1 hadst thou the midway flown, 

Icarian beck k by name no man [had] known. 

If middle path kept had proud Phaeton, 

No burning brand this earth had fallne upon. 

Ne cruel power, ne none so soft can raign : 

That kepes 1 a mean, the same shal stil remain. 

Thee, Julie m , once did too much mercy spill: 

Thee, Nero stern, rigor extreem did kill. 

shire then existing, belonging to the queen author's initials W. V. See Hearne, ut 

and the nobility. See Hearne's Lei. Itin. modo supr. iii. p. v. ii. p. xvi. 

V. Pr. p. iv. seq. ed. 2. h Shakspeare did not begin writing for 

f The founder of Dunmow priory, after- the stage till 1591 ; Jonson about 1598. 

wards mentioned, in the reign of Henry Icarus, with thy father, 

the Third. * strait, sea. 

B There are two old editions, at Lon- l that which, 

don, in 1615, and 1616, both for Henry m Julius Caesar. 
Gosson, in 5 sh. 4to. They have only the 


How could August" so many yeres well passe ? 
Nor overmeek, nor overferse, he was. 
Worship not Jove with curious fansies vain, 
Nor him despise : hold right atween these twain. 
No wastefull wight, no greedy goom is prayzd : 
Stands Largesse just in egall ballance payzd . 
So Catoes meat surmountes Antonius chere, 
And better fame his sober fare hath here. 
Too slender building bad, as bad too grosseP; 
One an eye sore, the other falls to losse. 
As medcines help in measure, so, god wot, 
By overmuch the sick their bane have got. 
Unmete, meesemes, to utter this mo wayes ; 
Measure forbids unmeasurable prayse.i 

The maxim is enforced with great quickness and variety of illustra- 
tion : nor is the collision of opposite thoughts, which the subject so 
naturally affords, extravagantly pursued, or indulged beyond the bounds 
of good sense and propriety. The following stanzas on the NINE MUSES 
are more poetical, and not less correct/ 

Imps 8 of king JOVE and quene REMEMBRANCE, lo, 
The sisters nyne, the poets pleasant feres*, 
Calliope doth stately stile bestow, 
And worthy praises paintes of princely peres. 

Clio in solem songes reneweth all day, 
With present yeres conjoyning age bypast. 
Delighteful talke loves comicall Thaley; 
In fresh grene youth who doth like laurel! last. 

With voyces tragicall sowndes Melpomen, 
And, as with cheins, thallured eare she bindes. 
Her stringes when Terpsichor doth touche, even then 
She toucheth hartes, and raigneth in mens mindes. 

Fine Erato, whose looke a lively chere 
Presents, in dancing keepes a comely grace. 
With semely gesture doth Polymnie stere, 
Whose wordes whole routes of rankes do rule in place. 

Uranie, her globes to view all bent, 
The ninefold heaven observes with fixed face. 
The blastes Euterpe tunes of instrument, 
With solace sweete, hence my heavie dumps to chase. 

Lord Phebus in the mids (whose heauenly sprite 
These ladies doth enspire) embraceth all. 
The Graces in the Muses weed, delite 
To lead them forth, that men in maze they fall. 

n Augustus Caesar. poised. r Fol. 113. * daughter 

p thick, massy. q Fol. 113. * companions. 


It would be unpardonable to dismiss this valuable miscellany, with- 
out acknowledging our obligations to its original editor Richard Tot- 
tell, who deserves highly of English literature, for having collected at 
a critical period, and preserved in a printed volume, so many admi- 
rable specimens of antient genius, which would have mouldered in 
manuscript, or perhaps from their detached and fugitive state of ex- 
istence, their want of length, the capriciousness of taste, the general 
depredations of time, inattention, and other accidents, would never 
have reached the present age. It seems to have given birth to two 
favorite and celebrated collections* of the same kind, THE PARADISE 
OF DAINTY DEVISES, and ENGLAND'S HELICON, which appeared in 
the reign of queen Elisabeth u . 


Andrew Borde. Bah. Ansley. Chertsey. FabylTs Ghost, a poem. 
The Merry Devil of Edmonton. Other minor Poets of the Reign of 
Henry the Eighth. 

IT will not be supposed, that air the poets of the reign of Henry the 
Eighth were educated in the school of Petrarch. The graces of the 
Italian muse, which had been taught by Surrey and Wyat, were con- 
fined to a few. Nor were the beauties of the classics yet become gene- 
ral objects of imitation. There are many writers of this period who 
still rhymed on, in the old prosaic track of their immediate predeces- 
sors, and never ventured to deviate into the modern improvements. 
The strain of romantic fiction was lost ; in the place of which, they 
did not substitute the elegancies newly introduced. 

I shall consider together, yet without an exact observation of chro- 
nological order, the poets of the reign of Henry the Eighth who form 
this subordinate class, and who do not bear any mark of the character 
of the poetry which distinguishes this period. Yet some of these have 

* [Quere whether these collections were who appears to have fought under Henry 

not more immediately derived from " A the Eighth in the wars of France and 

gorgeous Gallery of gallant Inventions," Scotland. This edition of 1557, is not in 

&c. and the " Phcenix Nest," both reprint- quarto, as I have called it by an oversight, 

ed in Heliconia, vol. i. PARK.] but in small duodecimo, and only with 

u The reader will observe, that I have signatures. It is not mentioned by Ames, 
followed the paging and arrangement of and I have seen it only among Tanner's 
Tottell's second edition in 1565. 12mo. printed books at Oxford. It has this co- 
in his edition of 1557, there is much con- lophon : " Imprinted at London in Flete 
fusion. A poem is there given to Grimoald, Strete within Temple barre, at the sygne 
on the death of lady Margaret Lee, in of the hand and starre by Richard Tot- 
1555. Also among Grimoald's is a poem tel, the fifte day of June. An. 1557. Cum 
on sir James Wilford, mentioned above, privilegio ad imprimendum solum." 


their degree of merit ; and, if they had not necessarily claimed a place 
in our series, deserve examination. 

Andrew Borde, who writes himself ANDREAS PERFORATUS, with 
about as much propriety and as little pedantry as Buchanan calls one 
Wisehart SOPHOCARDIUS, was educated at Winchester and Oxford*; 
and is said, I believe on very slender proof, to have been physician to 
king Henry the Eighth. His BREVIARY OF HEALTH, first printed in 
1547 b , is dedicated to the college of physicians, into which he had 
been incorporated. The first book of this treatise is said to have been 
examined and approved by the University of Oxford in 1546 C . He 
chiefly practised in Hampshire ; and being popishly affected, was cen- 
sured by Poynet, a Calvinistic bishop of Winchester, for keeping three 
prostitutes in his house, which he proved to be his patients d . He ap- 
pears to have been a man of great superstition, and of a weak and 
whimsical head: and having been once a Carthusian, continued ever 
afterwards to profess celibacy, to drink water, and to wear a shirt of 
hair. His thirst of knowledge, dislike of the reformation, or rather his 
unsettled disposition, led him abroad into various parts of Europe, 
which he visited in the medical character*. Wood says, that he was 
" esteemed a noted poet, a witty and ingenious person, and an excellent 
physician." Hearne, who has plainly discovered the origin of Tom 
Thumb, is of opinion, that this facetious practitioner in physic gave 
rise to the name of MERRY ANDREW, the Fool on the mountebank's 
stage. The reader will not perhaps be displeased to see that anti- 
quary's reasons for this conjecture ; which are at the same time a vin- 
dication of Borde's character, afford some new anecdotes of his life, 
and show that a Merry Andrew may be a scholar and an ingenious 
man. "It is observable, that the author [Borde] was as fond of the 
word DOLENTYD, as of many other hard and uncooth words, as any 
Quack can be. He begins his BREVIARY OF HEALTH, Egregious doc- 
tours and Maysters of the eximious and archane science of Physicke, of 
your urbanite exasperate not your selve, &c. But notwithstanding this, 
will any one from hence infer or assert, that the author was either a 
pedant or a superficial scholar ? I think, upon due consideration, he 

a See his Introduction to Knowledge, that to the princess Mary is dated 3 May 

ut infr. cap. xxxv. 1542, and may be supposed to have been 

b "Compyled by Andrewe Boorde of printed soon after, though indeed it has 

Physicke Doctoure an Englysshe man." no date of printing. It was printed by 

It was reprinted by William Powell in Wm. Copland. See Bibl. West. No. 1643. 

1552, and again in 1557. There was an PARK.] 

impression by T. East, 1587, 4to. others c At the end of which is this note : 

also in 1548, and 1575, which I have "Here endeth the first boke Examined 

never seen. The latest is by East in in Oxforde in the yere of our Lorde 

1598, 4to. [This seems to have been MCCCCCXLVI," &c. 

printed, says Herbert, before 1547, by d See Against Martin, &c. p. 48. 

William Mydilton, in 12mo, because * [" I have gone round Christendome 

therein he mentions his Introduction to and overthwart Christendome," says 

Knowledge, as at that time printing at old Borde in his Dietarie of Health. PARK-] 
Rob. Copland's. But the dedication of 


will judge the contrary. Dr. Borde was an ingenious man, and knew 
how to humour and please his patients, readers, and auditors. In his 
travells and visits, he often appeared and spoke in public; and would 
often frequent markets and fairs where a conflux of people used to get 
together, to whom he prescribed ; and to induce them to flock thither 
the more readily, he would make humorous speeches, couched in such 
language as caused mirth) and wonderfully propagated his fame : and 
'twas for the same end that he made use of such expressions in his 
Books, as would otherwise (the circumstances not considered) be very 
justly pronounced bombast. As he was versed in antiquity, he had 
words at command from old writers with which to amuse his hearers, 
which could not fail of pleasing, provided he added at the same time 
some remarkable explication. For instance, if he told them that Aejuzdqs 
was an old brass medal among the Greeks, the oddness of the word, 
would, without doubt, gain attention; tho nothing near so much, as if 
withall he signified, that 'twas a brass medal a little bigger than an 
Obolus, that used to be put in the mouths of persons that were dead. 
And withall, 'twould affect them the more, if when he spoke of such 
a brass medal, he signified to them, that brass was in old time looked 
upon as more honourable than other metals, which he might safely 
enough do, from Homer and his scholiast. Homer's words are, &c. A 
passage, which without doubt HIERONYMUS MAGIUS would have taken 
notice of in the fourteenth chapter of his Book DE TINTINNABULIS, 
had it occurred to his memory when in prison he was writing, without 
the help of books before him, that curious Discourse. 'Twas from the 
Doctor's method of using such speeches at markets and fairs, that in 
aftertimes, those that imitated the like' humorous, jocose language, were 
styled MERRY ANDREWS, a term much in vogue on our stages 6 ." 

He is supposed to have compiled or composed the MERRY TALES of 
the mad men of Gotham, which, as we are told by Wood, " in the 
reign of Henry the Eighth, and after, was accounted a book full of wit 
and mirth by scholars and gentlemen f ." This piece, which probably 
was not without its temporary ridicule, and which yet maintains a po- 
pularity in the nursery, was, I think, first printed by Wynkyn de Worde. 
Hearne was of opinion, that these idle pranks of the men of Gotham, a 
town in Lincolnshire, bore a reference to some customary law-tenures 
belonging to that place or its neighbourhood, now grown obsolete; and 
that Blount might have enriched his book on ANTIENT TENURES with 
these ludicrous stories. He is speaking of the political design of REY- 
NARD THE Fox, printed by Caxton. " It was an admirable Thing. 
And the design, being political, and to represent a wise government, 
was equally good. So little reason is there to look upon this as a poor 

e Hearne's Benedict. Abb. torn. i. Prae- out date, but about 1568, entitled, MERIE 

fat. p. 50. edit. Oxon. 1735. TALES of the madmen of Gotam, gathered 

s Ath. Oxon. i. 74. There is an edi- together by A. B. ofphysicke doctour. The 

tion in duodecimo by Henry Wikes, with- oldest I have seen, is London, 1630, 12mo. 


book. Nor is there more reason to esteem the MERRY 
TALES OF THE MAD MEN OF GOTHAM (which was much valued and 
cried up in Henry the eighth's time tho now sold at ballad-singers 
stalls) as altogether a romance: a certain skillfull person having told me 
more than once, that he was assured by one of Gotham, that they formerly 
held lands there, by such Sports and Customs as are touched upon in 
this book. For which reason, I think particular notice should have 
been taken of it in Blount's TENURES, as I do not doubt but there 
would, had that otherwise curious author been apprised of the matter. 
But 'tis strange to see the changes that have been made in the book of 
REYNARD THE Fox, from the original editions^!" 

Borde's chief poetical work is entitled, " The first Boke of the IN- 
TRODUCTION OF KNOWLEDGE, the which doth teach a man to speake 
parte of al maner of languages, and to knowe the usage and fashion of 
al maner of countryes: and for to knowe the most parte of al maner of 
coynes of money, the whych is currant in every region. Made by An- 
drew Borde of phisyk doctor." It was printed by the Coplands, and is 
dedicated to the king's daughter the princess Mary. The dedication 
is dated from Montpelier, in the year 154*2. The book, containing 
Ihirty-nine chapters, is partly in verse and partly in prose; with wooden 
cuts prefixed to each chapter. The first is a satire, as it appears, on 
the fickle nature of an Englishman: the symbolical print prefixed to 
this chapter, exhibiting a naked man, with a pair of shears in one hand 
and a roll of cloth in the other, not determined what sort of a coat he 
shall order to be made, has more humour than any of the verses which 
follow 11 . Nor is the poetry destitute of humour only; but of every 
embellishment, both of metrical arrangement and of expression. Borde 
has all the baldness of allusion, and barbarity of versification, belong- 
ing to Skelton, without his strokes of satire and severity. The follow- 
ing lines, part of the Englishman's speech, will not prejudice the reader 
in his favour. 

What do I care, if all the world me faile ? 

I will have a garment reach to my taile. 

Then am I a minion*, for I weare the new guise, 

The next yeare after I hope to be wise, 

Not only in wearing my gorgeous aray, 

For I will go to learning a whole summers day. 

g Hearne's Not. et Spicileg. ad Gul. after the Almaine fashion : by and by the 

Neubrig. vol. iii. p. 744. See also Bene- Turkish maner otherwise the Morisco 

diet. Abb. ut supr. p. 54. gowns, the Barbarian sieves, the mandi- 

h Harrison, in his Description of En- lion worne to Collie Weston ward, and the 

gland, having mentioned this work by shorte French breeches," &c. B. ii. ch. 9. 

Borde, adds, " Suche is our mutabilitie, p. 172. 

that to daie there is none [equal] to the * [A young fashionable courtier. See 

Spanish guise, to morrow the French toies a print of French mignons in Montfau- 

are most fine and delectable, yer [ere] con's Antiquities. ASHBY.] 
long no such apparel as that which is 


In the seventh chapter, he gives a fantastic account of his travels 1 , and 
owns, that his metre deserves no higher appellation than ryme dogrell. 
But this delineation of the fickle Englishman is perhaps to be restrict- 
ed to the circumstances of the author's age, without a respect to the 
national character; and, as Borde was a rigid catholic, there is a pro- 
bability, notwithstanding in other places he treats of natural disposi- 
tions, that a satire is designed on the laxity of principle, and revolutions 
of opinion, which prevailed at the reformation, and the easy compliance 
of many of his changeable countrymen with a new religion for lucrative 

I transcribe the character of the Welshman, chiefly because he speaks 
of his harp. 

I am a Welshman, and do dwel in Wales, 

I have loved to serche budgets, and looke in males : 

I love not to labour, to delve, nor to dyg, 

My fyngers be lymed lyke a lyme-twyg. 

And wherby ryches I do not greatly set, 

Syth all hys [is] fysshe that cometh to the net. 
. I am a gentylman, and come of Brutes blood, 

My name is ap Ryce, ap Davy, ap Flood : 

I love our Lady, for I am of hyr kynne, 

He that doth not love her, I beshrewe his chynne. 

My kyndred is ap Hoby, ap Jenkin, ap Goffe. 

By cause I go barelegged, I do catch the coffe. 

Bycause I do go barelegged it is not for pryde. 

I have a gray cote, my body for to hyde. 

I do love cawse boby*, good rosted cheese, 

And swysshe metheglyn I loke for my fees. 

And yf I have my HARPE, I care for no more, 

It is my treasure, I kepe it in store. 

For my harpe is made of a good mare's skyn, 

The strynges be of horse heare, it maketh a good dyn. 

My songe, and my voyce, and my harpe doth agree, 

Much lyke the bussing of an homble bee : 

Yet in my country I do make pastyme 

In tellyng of prophyces which be not in ryme. 1 

1 Prefixed to which, is a wooden cut castels and the country of the people of 

of the author Borde, standing in a sort Castyle and Biscayn." In describing 

of pew or stall, under a canopy, habited Gascony, he says, that at Bordeaux, " in 

in an academical gown, a laurel-crown the cathedrall church of Saint Andrews, 

on his head, with a book before him on a is the fairest and the greatest payre of 

desk. orgyns [organs] in al Chrystendome, in 

k That is, toasted cheese, next men- the which orgins be many instrumentes 

tioned. and vyces [devices] as gians [giants] 

1 Ch. ii. In the prose description of heads and starres, the which doth move 

Wales he says, there are many beautiful and wagge with their jawes and eis 

and strong castles standing yet. " The [eyes] as fast as the player playeth." 

castels and the countre of Wales, and the ch. xxiii. 
people of Wales, be much lyke to the 


I have before mentioned " A ryght pleasant and merry History of 
the MYLNER OF ABiNGTON m , with his wife and his faire daughter, and 
of two poor scholars of Cambridge," a meagre epitome of Chaucer's 
MILLER'S TALE. In a blank leaf of the Bodleian copy, this tale is said 
by Thomas Newton of Cheshire, an elegant Latin epigrammatist of the 
reign of queen Elisabeth, to have been written by Borde 11 . He is also 
supposed to have published a collection of silly stories called SCOGIN'S 
JESTS, sixty in number. Perhaps Shakspeare took his idea from this 
jest-book, that Scogan was a mere buffoon, where he says that Falstaffe, 
as a juvenile exploit, "broke Scogan's head at the court-gate ." Nor 
have we any better authority, than this publication by Borde, that Sco- 
gan was a graduate in the university, and a jester to a king?. Hearne, 
at the end of Benedictus Abbas, has printed Borde's ITINERARY, as it 
may be called; which is little more than a string of names, but is 
quoted by Norden in his SPECULUM BRITANNIA. Borde's circula- 
tory peregrinations, in the quality of a quack-doctor, might have fur- 
nished more ample materials for an English topography. Beside the 
BREVIARY OF HEALTH, mentioned above, and which was approved by 
the university of Oxford, Borde has left the DIETARIE OF HEALTH, 
reprinted in 1576, the PROMPTUARIE OF MEDICINE, the DOCTRINE 
TIONS r : which are proofs of attention to his profession, and show that 
he could sometimes be serious s . But Borde's name would not have 
been now remembered, had he wrote only profound systems in medi- 
cine and astronomy. c He is known to posterity as a buffoon, not as a 
philosopher. Yet, I think, some of his astronomical tracts have been 
epitomised and bound up with Erra Pater's Almanacs. 

Of Borde's numerous books, the only one that can afford any degree 
of entertainment to the modern reader, is the DIETARIE OF HELTHE ; 
where, giving directions as a physician, concerning the choice of 

m A village near Cambridge. Regarded and rewarded, which few poets 

n See supr. vol. ii. p. 197. Are nowadays. 

Henry IV., Part Second, act iii. sc. 2. ... _. 

" It is hard [o say whence Jonson got See Tyrwhitt's Chaucer, vol. v. An Ao 

his account of Scogan, Masque of the For- , count ' &c ' P- * x ' And com P ar ? what I 

tunate Isles, vol. iv. p. 192. ** sai * ^ Scogan, supr. vol. 11 p 335. 

[where Mr. Ritson s correction of this pas- 

Merefool. Skogan ? What was he ? sage is given.] Drayton, in the Preface 

Johphiel. O, a fine gentleman, and a to his Eclogues, says, "the COLIN CLOUT 

Master of Arts OF SKOGGAN under Henry the Seventh is 

Of Henry the Fourth's time, that made pretty." He must mean Skelton. 

disguises q Pag. 13. Middlesex, i. P. 

For the king's sones, and writ in balad- r The Princyples of Astronamye the 

royal whiche diligently per scrutyd is in a maner 

Daintily well. a prognosticacyon to the worldes ende. In 

Merefool. But wrote he like a gentle- thirteen chapters. For R. Copland, with- 

man ? out date, 12mo. It is among bishop More's 

Johphiel. In rhyme, fine tinkling collection at Cambridge, with some other 

rhyme, and flowand verse, of Borde's books. 

With now and then some sense; and he * See Ames, Hist. Print, p. 152. Pits, 

was paid for't, p. 735. 


houses, diet, and apparel, and not suspecting how little he should in- 
struct, and how much he might amuse, a curious posterity, he has pre- 
served many anecdotes of the private life, customs, and arts, of our 
ancestors*. This work is dedicated to Thomas duke of Norfolk, lord 
treasurer under Henry the Eighth. In the dedication, he speaks of his 
being called in as a physician to sjr John Drury, the year when car- 
dinal Wolsey was promoted to York; but that he did not choose to pre- 
scribe without consulting doctor Buttes, the king's physician. He apo- 
logises to the duke, for not writing in the ornate phraseology now gene- 
rally affected. He also hopes to be excused, for using in his writings so 
many wordes of mirth : but this, he says, was only to make your grace 
merrie, and because mirth has ever been esteemed the best medicine. 
Borde must have had no small share of vanity, who could think thus 
highly of his own pleasantry. And to what a degree of taste and re- 
finement must our ancient dukes and lords treasurers have arrived, who 
could be exhilarated by the witticisms and the lively language of this 
facetious philosopher ? 

John Bale, a tolerable Latin classic, and an eminent biographer, 
before his conversion from popery, and his advancement to the bishop- 
rick of Ossory by king Edward the Sixth, composed many scriptural 
interludes, chiefly from incidents of the New Testament. They are, the 
life of Saint John the Baptist, written in 1538*. Christ in his twelfth 
year. Baptism and Temptation. The Resurrection of Lazarus. The 
Council of the High-priests. Simon the Leper. Our Lord's Supper, 
and the Washing of the feet of his Disciples. Christ's Burial and Re- 
surrection. The Passion of Christ. The Comedie of the three Laws 
of Nature, Moses, and Christ, corrupted by the Sodomites, Pharisees, 
and Papists, printed by Nicholas Bamburg in 1538 ; and so popular, 
that it was reprinted by Colwell in 1562 U . God's Promises to Man w . 
Our author, in his Vocacyon to the Bishoprich of Ossory, informs us, 
that his COMEDY of John the Baptist, and his TRAGEDY of God's Pro- 
mises, were acted by the youths upon a Sunday, at the market cross of 

* In his rules for building or planning In the Garden a Pool or two, for fish. A 

a House, he supposes a quadrangle. The Park filled with deer and conies. " A 

Gate-house, or Tower, to be exactly op- Dove-house also is a necessary thyng 

posite to the Portico of the Hall. The about a mansyon-place. And, among other 

Privy Chamber to be annexed to the thynges, a Payre of Buttes is a decent 

Chamber of State. A Parlour joining to thynge about a mansyon. And other- 

the Buttery and Pantry at the lower end whyle, for a great man necessary it is for 

of the Hall. The Pastry-house and Larder to passe his tyme with bowles in an aly, 

annexed to the Kitchen. Many of the when al this is finished, and the mansyon 

chambers to have a view into the Chapel. replenished with implemens." Ch. iv. 

In the outer quadrangle to be a stable, but Sign. C. ii. Dedication dated 1542 [7], 
only for horses of pleasure. The stables, * [SeeHarleianMiscell. vol.i. PARK.] 

dairy, and slaughter-house, to be a quarter u Both in quarto. At the end is A song 

of a mile from the house. The Moat to of Benedictus, compiled by Johan Bale, 
have a spring falling into it, and to be w This was written in 1538 ; and first 

often scowered. An Orchard of sundry printed under the name of a Tragedie or 

fridtsis convenient; but he rather recom- Interlude, by Charlewood, 1577. 4to. 
mends a Garden filled with aromatic herbs. 


Kilkenny x . What shall we think of the state, I will not say of the stage, 
but of common sense, when these deplorable dramas could be endured? 
of an age, when the Bible was profaned and ridiculed from a principle 
of piety ? But the fashion of acting mysteries appears to have expired 
with this writer. He is said, by himself, to have written a book of 
Hymns, and another jrf jests and tales ; and to have translated the tra- 
gedy of PAMMACHiusy; the same perhaps which was acted at Christ's 
college in Cambridge in 1544, and afterwards laid before the privy 
council as a libel on the reformation 2 . A low vein of abusive bur- 
lesque, which had more virulence than humour, seems to have been 
one of Bale's talents : two of his pamphlets against the papists, all whom 
he considered as monks, are entitled the MASS OF THE GLUTTONS, and 
the ALCORAN OF THE PRELATES a . Next to exposing the impostures 
of popery, literary history was his favorite pursuit ; and his most cele- 
brated performance is his account of the British writers. But this work, 
perhaps originally undertaken by Bale as a vehicle of his sentiments in 
religion, is not only full of misrepresentations and partialities, arising 
from his religious prejudices, but of general inaccuracies, proceeding 
from negligence or misinformation. Even those more ancient Lives 
which he transcribes from Leland's Commentary on the same subject, 
are often interpolated with false facts, and impertinently marked with a 
misapplied zeal for reformation. He is angry with many authors, who 
flourished before the thirteenth century, for being catholics. He tells 
us, that lord Cromwell frequently screened him from the fury of the 
more bigoted^ bishops, on account of the comedies he had published 1 *. 
But whether plays in particular, or other compositions, are here to be 
understood by comedies, is uncertain. 

Brian Anslay, or Annesley, yeoman of the wine cellar to Henry the 
Eighth about the year 1520, translated a popular French poem into En- 
glish rhymes, at the exhortation of the gentle earl of Kent, called the 
CITIE OF DAMES [Ladyes*], in three books. It was printed in 1521, 
by Henry Pepwell, whose prologue prefixed begins with these unpro- 
mising lines, 

So now of late came into my custode 
This forseyde book, by Brian Anslay, 
Yeoman of the seller with the eight king Henry. 

Another translator of French into English, much about the same 
time, is Andrew Chertsey. In the year 1520, Wynkyn de Worde print- 

x Fol. 24. [Still acted at the market- a See supr. vol. ii. p. 523. 

cross of Bury, but not on a Sunday. b "Ob editas COMCEDIAS." Ubi supr. 

ASHBY.] * [Mr. Ellis conjectures this to be atrans- 

y Cent. viii. 100. p. 702. And Verhei- lation of the Tresor de la Cite des Dames, 

den, p. 149. by Christian of Pise. Hist. Sketch, ii. 20. 

z See supr. vol. ii. p. 523. Bale says, PARK.] 
"Pammachii tragcedias transtuli." 



ed a book with this title, partly in prose and partly in verse, Here fo- 
loweth thepassyon of our lord Jesu Crist translated out of French into 
Englysch by Andrew Chertsey gentleman the yere of our lord MDXX. C I 
will give two stanzas of Robert Copland's prologue, as it records the 
diligence, and some other performances, of this very obscure writer. 

The godly use of prudent- wytted men 
Cannot absteyn theyr auncyent exercise. 
Recorde of late how besiley with his pen 
The translator of the sayd treatyse 
Hath him indevered, in most godly wyse, 
Bokes to translate, in volumes large and fayre, 
From French in prose, of goostly exemplaire. 

As is, thefioure of Gods commaundements, 
A treatyse also called Lucydarye, 
With two other of the sevyn sacraments, 
One of cristen men the ordinary, 
The seconde the craft to lyve well and to dye, 
With dyvers other to mannes lyfe profytable, 
A vertuose use and ryght commendable. 

The Floure of God's Commaundements was printed by Wynkyn de 
Worde, in folio, in 1521. A print of the author's arms, with the name 
CHERTSEY, is added. The Lucydayre is translated from a favorite old 
French poem called Li Lusidaire. This is a translation of the ELUCI- 
DARIUM, a large work in dialogue, containing the sum of Christian 
theology, by some attributed to Anselm archbishop of Canterbury in the 
twelfth century d . Chertsey's other versions, mentioned in Copland's pro- 
logue, are from old French manuals of devotion, now equally forgotten. 
Such has been the fate of volumes fayre and large ! Some of these 
versions have been given to George Ashby, clerk of the signet to Mar- 
garet queen of Henry the Sixth, who wrote a moral poem for the use 
of their son prince Edward, on the Active policy of a prince, finished 
in the author's eightieth year. The prologue begins with a compliment 
to " Maisters Gower, Chaucer, and Lydgate," a proof of the estimation 
which that celebrated triumvirate still continued to maintain. I believe 
it was never printed. But a copy, with a small mutilation at the end, 
remains among bishop More's manuscripts at Cambridge 6 . 

In the dispersed library of the late Mr. William Collins, I saw a thin 
folio of two sheets in black letter, containing a poem in the octave 
stanza, entitled, FABYL'S GHOSTE, printed by John Rastell in the year 

c in quarto. e MSS< More, 492. It begins, "Right 

d Wynkyn de Worde printed, Here be- [high] and myghty prince and my ryght 

gynneth a lytell treatyse called the Lycy- good lorde." 

darye. With wooden cuts. No date. In 



1533. The piece is of no merit; and I should not perhaps have men- 
tioned it, but as the subject serves to throw light on our early drama. 
Peter Fabell, whose apparition speaks in this poem, was called The 
Merrie Devil of Edmonton, near London. He lived in the reign of 
Henry the Seventh, and was buried in the church of Edmonton. 
Weever, in his ANTIENT FUNERAL MONUMENTS, published in 1631, 
says under Edmonton, that in the church " lieth interred under a seemlie 
tombe without inscription, the body of Peter Fabell, as the report goes, 
upon whom this fable was fathered, that he by his wittie devises be- 
guiled the devill. Belike he was some ingenious-conceited gentleman, 
who did use some sleighte trickes for his own disportes. He lived and 
died in the raigne of Henry the Seventh, saith the booke of his merry 
Pranks f ." The book of Fabell's Merry Pranks I have never seen. 
But there is an old anonymous comedy, written in the reign of James 
the First, which took its rise from this merry magician. It was printed 
in 1617, and is called the MERRY DEVIL OF EDMONTON, as it hath 
been sundry times acted by his majesties servants at the Globe on the 
Banke-side%. In the Prologue, Fabell is introduced, reciting his own 

Tis Peter Fabell a renowned scholler, 

Whose fame hath still beene hitherto forgot 

By all the writers of this latter age. 

In Middle-sex his birth, and his aboade, 

Not full seauen mile from this great famous citty : 

That, for his fame in slights and magicke won, 

Was cald the Merry Fiend of Edmonton. 

If any heere make doubt of such a name, 

In Edmonton yet fresh vnto this day, 

Fixt in the wall of that old ancient church 

His monument remaineth to be scene: 

His memory yet in the mouths of men, 

That whilst he liu'd he could deceiue the deuill. 

Imagine now, that whilst he is retirde, 

From Cambridge backe vnto his natiue home, 

Suppose the silent sable visage night, 

Casts her blacke curtaine ouer all the world, 

And whilst he sleepes within his silent bed, 

Toyl'd with the studies of the passed day : 

The very time and howre wherein that spirite 

That many yeares attended his command; 

And oftentimes 'twixt Cambridge and that towne, 

Had in a minute borne him through the ayre, 

By composition 'twixt the fiend and him, 

Comes now to claime the scholler for his due. 

f Pag. 534. in quarto, Lond. 



Behold him here laid on his restlesse couch, 
His fatall chime prepared at his head, 
His chamber guarded with these sable slights, 
And by him stands that necromantick chaire, 
In which he makes his direfull inuocations, 
And binds the fiends that shall obey his will. 
Sith with a pleased eye vntill you know 
The commicke end of our sad tragique show. 

The play is without absurdities, and the author was evidently an at- 
tentive reader of Shakspeare. It has nothing, except the machine of 
the chime, in common with FABYLL'S GHOSTE. Fabell is mentioned in 
our chronicle-histories, and, from his dealings with the devil, was com- 
monly supposed to be a friar h . 

In the year 1537, Wilfrid Holme, a gentleman of Huntington in 
Yorkshire, wrote a poem called The Fall and evil Success of Rebellion. 
It is a dialogue between England and the author, on the commotions 
raised in the northern counties on account of the reformation in 1537, 
under Cromwell's administration. It was printed at London in 1573. 
Alliteration is here carried to the most ridiculous excess ; and from the 
constraint of adhering inviolably to an identity of initials, from an 
affectation of coining prolix words from the Latin, and from a total 
ignorance of prosodical harmony, the author has produced one of the 
most obscure, rough, and unpleasing pieces of versification in our lan- 
guage. He seems to have been a disciple of Skelton. The poem, pro- 
bably from its political reference, is mentioned by Hollinshed 1 . Bale, 
who overlooks the author's poetry in his piety, thinks that he has learn- 
edly and perspicuously discussed the absurdities of popery k . 

One Charles Bansley, about the year 1540, wrote a rhyming satire 
on the pride and vices of women now a days. I know not if the first 
line will tempt the reader to see more. 

" Bo peep, what have we spied ! " 

It was printed in quarto by Thomas Rainolde; but I do not find it 
among Ames's books of that printer, whose last piece is dated 1555. 
Of equal reputation is Christopher Goodwin, who wrote the MAYDEN'S 
DREME, a vision without imagination, printed in 1542 1 , and THE 
CHANCE OF THE DOLORUS LOVER, a lamentable story without pathos, 
printed in 1520 m . With these two may be ranked, Richard [Thomas] 
Feylde, or Field, author of a poem printed in quarto by Wynkyn de 

b See also Norden's Speculum Bri- k ix. 22. 

tanniae, written in 1596. Middlesex, p. 18. ' In 4to. Pr. "Behold you young la- 

And Fuller's Worthies, Middlesex, p. 1 86. dies of high parentage." 
edit. fol. 1662. m In 4to. Pr. " Upon a certain tyme as 

* Chron. iii. p. 978. it befell." 


The prologue begins 

Thoughe laureate poetes in olde antyquyte. 

I must not forget to observe here, that Edward Haliwell, admitted a 
fellow of King's college Cambridge in 1532, wrote the Tragedy of 
DIDO, which was acted at saint Paul's school in London, under the 
conduct of the very learned master John Rightwise, before cardinal 
Wolsey". But it may be doubted, whether this drama was in English. 
Wood says, that it was written by Rightwise . One John Hooker, 
fellow of Magdalene college Oxford in 1535, wrote a comedy called by 
Wood PISCATOR, or The Fisher caught?. But as latinity seems to 
have been his object, I suspect this comedy to have been in Latin, and 
to have been acted by the youth of his college. 

The fanaticisms of chemistry seem to have remained at least till the 
dissolution of the monasteries. William* Blomefield, otherwise Rat- 
tlesden, born at Bury in Suffolk, bachelor in physic, and a monk of Bury- 
abbey, was an adventurer in quest of the philosopher's stone. While 
a monk of Bury, as I presume, he wrote a metrical chemical tract, en- 
is a vision, and in the octave stanza. It was originally written in the 
year 1530, according to a manuscript that I have seen : but in the copy 
printed by Ashmole% which has some few improvements and additional 
stanzas, our author says he began to dream in 1557 r . He is admitted 
into the camp of philosophy by TIME, through a superb gate which has 
twelve locks. Just within the entrance were assembled all the true 
philosophers from Hermes and Aristotle, down to Roger Bacon, and 
the canon of Bridlington. Detached at some distance, appear those un- 
skilful but specious pretenders to the transmutation of metals, lame, 
blind, and emaciated, by their own pernicious drugs and injudicious ex- 
periments, who defrauded king Henry the Fourth of immense treasures 
by a counterfeit elixir. Among other wonders of this mysterious re- 
gion, he sees the tree of philosophy, which has fifteen different buds, 
bearing fifteen different fruits. Afterwards, Blomefield turning pro- 
testant, did not renounce his chemistry with his religion, for he appears 
to have dedicated to queen Elisabeth another system of occult science, 
entitled, THE RULE OF LIFE, OR THE FIFTH ESSENCE, with which her 
majesty must have been highly edified 3 . 

Although lord Surrey and some others so far deviated from the dull- 
ness of the times, as to copy the Italian poets, the same taste does not 

n See supr. p. 2. q See Stanz. 5. 

Compare Tanner, Bibl. pag. 632. 372. r See Ashmole's Theatrum Chemicum, 

Ath. Oxon. i. 17. p Ath. Oxon. i. 60. p. 305. 478. 

[* From Ashmole's notes on Theatrum * MSS. More, autograph. 430. Pr. 

Chemicum, 1652, p. 478, it seems doubt- " Althoughe, most redoubted, suffran 

ful whether his name was not MYLES. lady." See Fox, Martyr, edit. i. p. 479. 



seem to have uniformly influenced all the nobility of the court of king 
Henry the Eighth who were fond of writing verses. Henry Parker, 
lord Morley, who died an old man in the latter end of that reign, 'was 
educated in the best literature which our universities afforded. Bale 
mentions his TRAGEDIES and COMEDIES, which I suspect to be nothing 
more than grave mysteries and moralities, and which probably would 
not now have been lost, had they deserved to live. He mentions also his 
RHYMES, which I will not suppose to have been imitations of Petrarch*. 
Wood says, that "his younger years were adorned with all kinds of super- 
ficial learning, especially with dramatic poetry, and his elder with that 
which was divine u ." It is a stronger proof of his piety than his taste, 
that he sent, as a new year's gift to the princess Mary, HAMPOLE'S 
The manuscript, with his epistle prefixed, is in the royal manuscripts 
of the British Museum w . Many of Morley 's translations, being dedi- 
cated either to king Henry the Eighth, or to the princess Mary, are 
preserved in manuscript in the same royal repository x . They are 
chiefly from Solomon, Seneca, Erasmus, Athanasius, Anselm, Thomas 
Aquinas, and Paulus Jovius. The authors he translated show his track 
of reading. But we should not forget his attention to the classics, and 
that he translated also Tully's DREAM OF SCIPIO, and three or four 
lives of Plutarch, although not immediately from the Greek y. He 
seems to have been a rigid catholic, retired and studious. His decla- 
ration, or paraphrase, on the ninety-fourth Psalm, was printed by Ber- 
thelette in 1539. A theological commentary by a lord, was too curious 
and important a production to be neglected by our first printers. 


John Heywood the Epigrammatist. His Works examined. Ancient 
unpublished burlesque Poem of Sir Penny. 

JOHN HEYWOOD, commonly called the epigrammatist, was beloved and 
rewarded by Henry the Eighth for his buffooneries *. At leaving the 

* Script. Brit. par. p. st. 103. * [From having been termed civis Lon- 

Ath. Oxon. i. 52. dinensis by Bale, he has been considered 

w MSS. 18 B. xxi. as a native of London by Pitts, Fuller, 

x But see MSS. Gresham, 8. Wood, Tanner, and by the editors of the 

y See MSS. (Bibl. Bodl.) Laud. H. 17. New Biog. Diet, in 1798. Langbaine, and 

MSS. Bibl. Reg. 17 D. 2. 17 D. xi. after him Gildon, conveyed the informa- 

18 A. Ix. And Walpole, Roy. and Nob. don that he had lived at North Mims, 

Auth. i. p. 92 seq. [p. 313 of Mr. Park's Herts; and Mr. Reed has followed up this 

edition, where a specimen of his poetry is report in Biog. Dram, by saying he was 

given. See also Wood's Ath. Oxon. by born there. That North Mims had been 

Mr. Bliss, vol. i. col. 117. and the Brit. the place of his residence, if not of his na- 

Bibliographer, vol. iv. p. 107.] tivity, may be deduced from the following 




university, he commenced author, and was countenanced by sir Thomas 
More for his facetious disposition. To his talents of jocularity in con- 
versation, he joined a skill in music, both vocal and instrumental. His 
merriments were so irresistible, that they moved even the rigid muscles 
of queen Mary*, and her sullen solemnity was not proof against his 
songs, his rhymes, and his jests -|-. He is said to have been often in- 
vited to exercise his arts of entertainment and pleasantry in her pre- 
sence, and to have had the honour to be constantly admitted into her 
privy-chamber for this purpose a . 

Notwithstanding his professional dissipation, Heywood appears to 
have lived comfortably under the smiles of royal patronage. What 

lines in Thalia's Banquet 1620, by Hen. 

I thinke the place l that gave me first my 


The genius had of epigram and mirth ; 
There famous More did his Utopia write, 
And there came Heywood's Epigrams to 

light. PARK.] 

* [Heywood evinced his attachment to 
this princess long before her ascent to the 
throne, as appears from a copy of verses 
preserved in Harl. MS. 1703, entitled, "A 
Description of a most noble Ladye, ad- 
vewed by John Hey woode presently ; who 
advertisinge her yeares as face, saith of 
her thus in much eloquent phrase. 

Give place ye lady es- all, bee gone, 
Shewe not your selves att all, 

For why ? behoulde there cometh one 
Whose face yours all blanke shall." 

The eulogist then proceeds to describe the 
virtuous attraction of her looks, the blush- 
ing beauty of her lively countenance, the 
wit and gravity, the mirth and modesty, 
with the firmness of word and deed which 
mingled in her character. This picture 
was taken when the princess was eighteen ; 
and consequently in the year 1534. Part 
of the above poem was printed among the 
songs and sonnets of Uncertain Authors in 
Tottell's early Miscellany, and has been 
inserted by Mr. Warton at p. 56 of this vo- 
lume, with high commendation of the un- 
suspected writer. Two ballads by Hey- 
wood printed in 1554 and 1557 are pre- 
served in the archives of the Society of 
Antiquaries. The former was written on 
the marriage of Philip and Mary ; the lat- 
ter, on the traitorous taking of Scarbo- 
rough castle. Both have been reprinted 

in vol. ii. of a Supplement to the Harleian 
Miscellany.- PARK.] 

f* [One of these is preserved in Cotton 
MS. Jul. F. x. "When Queene Mary tolde 
Heywoode that the priestes must forego 
their wives, he merrily answered, Then 
your grace must allow them lemmans, for 
the clergie cannot live without sauce." 
Another is recorded by Puttenham in his 
Arte of English Poesie, 1589: "At the 
Duke of Northumberland's bourd, merry 
John Heywood was allowed to sit at the 
table's end. The duke had a very noble 
and honorable mynde alwayes to pay his 
debts well, and when he lacked money, 
would not stick to sell the greatest part 
of his plate: so had he done few dayes be- 
fore. Heywood being loth to call for his 
drinke so oft as he was dry, turned his 
eye toward the cupbord and sayd, ' I finde 
great misse of your grace's standing cups :' 
the duke thinking he had spoken it of 
some knowledge that his plate was lately 
sold, said somewhat sharply, ' Why, sir, 
will not these cups serve as good a man 
as your selfe?' Heywood readily replied, 
' Yes, if it please your grace : but I would 
have one of them stand still at myne el- 
bow full of drinke, that I might not be 
driven to trouble your men so often to 
call for it.' This pleasant and speedy 
turn of the former wordes holpe all the 
matter againe, whereupon the duke be- 
came very pleasaunt and dranke a bolle 
of wine to Heywood, and bid a cuppe 
should alwayes be standing by him." p. 
231. Pitts has related an extraordinary 
instance of his death-bed waggery, which 
seems to vie in merriment with the scaf- 
fold jests of Sir Thomas More in articulo 
mortis. PARK.] 

a Wood, Ath. Oxon. i. 150. 

1 " North Mimmes in Herts, neere to Saint Albans." Sir Thomas More must have 
had a seat in that neighbourhood, says Dr. Berkenhout. His admiration of Heywood's 
repartees is noticed in Dod's Church History, vol. i. p. 369. 


the FAIRY QUEEN could not procure for Spenser from the penurious 
Elisabeth and her precise ministers, Heywood gained by puns and con- 

His comedies, most of which appeared before the year 1534, are 
destitute of plot, humour, or character, and give us no very high opinion 
of the festivity of this agreeable companion. They consist of low inci- 
dent, and the language of ribaldry. But perfection must not be ex- 
pected before its time. He is called our first writer of comedies. But 
those who say this, speak without determinate ideas, and confound 
comedies with moralities and interludes. We will allow, that he is 
among the first of our dramatists who drove the Bible from the stage, 
and introduced representations of familiar life and popular manners. 
These are the titles of his plays. The PLAY called the four P's, being 
a new and a very mery ENTERLUDE OF A PALMER, A PARDONER, A 
POTYCARY, AND A PEDLAR, printed at London in quarto*, without 
date or name of the printer, but probably from the press of Berthelette 
or Rastell. The PLAY of LOVE. The PLAY of the WEATHER, or a 
new and a very mery ENTERLUDE of all maner of WEATHERS, printed 
in quarto by William Rastell, 1533, and again by Robert Wyer b . A 
mery PLA^ betweene the PARDONER and the FRERE, the CURATE, and 
neybour PRATTE, in quarto, by William Rastell, dated the fifth day of 
April, 1533. The PLAY of Genteelnes and Nobilitie, in two parts, at 
London, without date. The PINNER of Wakejteld, a COMEDIE. Phi- 
lotas Scotch\, a COMEDIE. A mery PLAY betweene JOHAN the hus- 
band, TYB the wife, and syr JOHAN the preeste^ by William Rastell, in 
quarto, 1533. 

His EPIGRAMS, six hundred in number , are probably some of his 
jokes versified J; and perhaps were often extemporaneous sallies, made 
and repeated in company. Wit and humour are ever found in pro- 
portion to the progress of politeness. The miserable drolleries and the 

* [Reprinted in Dodsley's collection of without date. Again, 1577. 1587. 

Old Plays, from an edition sine anno vel 1597. 4to. Pr. Prol. "Ryme without rea- 

loco. Herbert says it was printed by J. son, and reason." The fifth and sixth 

Aide in 1569, and by W. Middleton with- hundredth of Epigrammes. Pr. " Were it 

out date. Typog. Ant. p. 576. PARK.] as perillous to deal cards as play." Lond. 

b In duodecimo. No date. Pr. Jupi- 1566. 1577. 1587. 1597. 4to. See 

ter ryght far so far longe as now were to John Heywoodes Woorkes, Anno domini 

recyte." 1576. Imprinted at London in Fleete- 

T [Langbaine expressed a confident be- streate, etc. by Thomas Marshe. In quarto, 

lief that Philotas and the Pindar of Wake- The colophon has 1577. This edition is 

field were not Hey wood's compositions, not mentioned by Ames. [The earliest 

and Mr. Reed fully coincided in the same edition I have seen was dated 1562, and 

belief. PARK.] this included the six centuries of Epi- 

c See three hundred Epigrammes on grammes, and both parts of the dialogue 

three hundred Proverbes. Pr. " If every on proverbs. PARK.] 
man mend one," London, without date, J [Gabriel Harvey in a note on Speght's 

but certainly before 1553. Again, 1577. Chaucer, (penes Bp. Percy,) says that some 

1587. 1598. The first hundred Epi- of Heywood's epigrams are supposed to be 

grammes. Pr. " Ryme without reason," conceits and devices of pleasant sir Tho- 

London, 1566. 1577. 1587. 4to. The mas More. PARK.} 
fourth hundred of Epigrammes, London, 


contemptible quibbles, with which these little pieces are pointed, indi- 
cate the great want of refinement*, not only in the composition but in 
the conversation of our ancestors. This is a specimen, on a piece of 
humour of Wolsey's Fool, A saying of PATCH my lord Cardinals 


Maister Sexton d , a person of unknowen witte, 
As he at my lord Cardinal's boord did sitte, 
Greedily raught 6 at a goblet of wine : 
Drinke none, sayd my lord, for that sore Teg of thyne : 
I warrant your Grace, quoth Sexton, I provide 
For my leg : for I drinke on the tother side f . 

The following is rather a humorous tale than an epigram, yet with 
an epigrammatic turn. 

Although that Foxes have been scene there seelde*, 
Yet was there lately in Finsbery Feelde h 
A Foxe sate in sight of certaine people, 
Nodding, and blissing 1 , staring on Poules steeple. 
A Maide toward market with hens in a band 
Came by, and with the Foxe she fell in hand k . 
" What thing is it, Rainard, in your braine plodding, 
That bringeth this busy blissing, and nodding ? 
I nother 1 nod for sleepe sweete hart, the Foxe saide, 
Nor blisse for spirites m , except the divell be a maide : 
My nodding and blissing breedth of wonder" 
Of the witte of Poules Weathercoke yonder. 
There is more witte in that cocks onely head 
Than hath bene in all mens heds that be dead. 
As thus by common report we finde, 
All that be dead, did die for lacke of winde : 
But the Weathercocks wit is not so weake 
To lacke winde the winde is ever in his beake. 
So that, while any winde blowth in the skie, 
For lacke of winde that Weathercocke will not die." 

* [Heath well observed in his first Cen- son to the Lord Mayor of London upon 
tury of Epigrams, 1610, that this condition, that he should every year 

Heywood the old English epigrammatist ait n h *J<> c . ee j? d to * e office 

Had wit at will, and Irt was fll he mist : See More's Life of Sir Thomas More, p. 

But now adaies we of the modern frie 

Have art and labour with wits penurie. Fool real nam6 f Patdl ' Wolse y s 

Puttenham had some time before remark- e reached. 

ed with critical discrimination, that " Hey- f First Hundred. Epigr. 44. 

wood came to be well benefited for the g seldom. h Finsbury field. 

myrth and quiknesse of his conceits, more * bowing and blessing. 

than for any good learning which was in k joined company. ! neither, 

him." Art of Eng. Poesie. PARK.] m to drive away evil spirits. 

f [When sir Thomas More had resigned n proceeds from wonder, 

the chancellorship, he gave his fool Pater- wisdom. 


She cast downe hir hennes, and now did she blis?, 

"Jesu," quod she, "in nomine patris ! 

Who hath ever heard, at any season, 

Of a Foxes forgeing so feat a reason ?" 

And while she preysed the Foxes wit so, 

He gat her hennes on his necke, and to go<*. 

" Whither away with my hennes, Foxe ? " quoth she. 

" To Poules pig r as fast as I can," quoth he. 

" Betweene these Hennes and yonder Weathercocke, 

I will assaie to have chickens a flocke ; 

Which if I may get, this tale is made goode, 

In all christendome not so Wise a broode ! " 9 

Another is on the phrase, wagging beards. 

It is mery in hall, when beardes wagge all. 
Husband, for this these woordes to mynd I call ; 
This is ment by men in their merie eating, 
Not to wag their beardes in brauling or threating : 
Wyfe, the meaning hereof differth not two pinnes, 
Between wagginge of mens beards and womens chins.* 

On the fashion of wearing Verdingales, or farthingales. 

Alas ! poore verdingales must lie in the street, 
To house them no dore in the citee made meete. 
Synce at our narrow doores they in cannot win u , 
Sende them to Oxforde, at brodegates to get in. w 

Oar author was educated at Broadgate-hall in Oxford, so called from 
an uncommonly wide gate or entrance, and since converted into Pem- 
broke college. These EPIGRAMS are mentioned in Wilson's RHE- 
TORIKE, published in 1553*. 

Another of Heywood's works, is a poem in long verse, entitled, A 
DIALOGUE containing in effect the number of al the PROVERBES in the 
English tongue compact in a matter concerning tivo marriages^. The 

cross herself. Heiwoode helpe wonderfull wele for thys 

began to steal off. purpose," fol. 96 b. PARK.] 

pike, L e. spire, or steeple. -f* [The following anecdote relating to 

First Hundred. Epigr. 10. There this work has been transmitted among 

six more lines, which are superfluous. some " witty aunsweres and saiengs of 

Epigrammes on Proverbes. Epigr. 2. Englishmen" in Cotton MS. Jul. F. x. 

enter in. Win is probably a contrac- " William Paulett, Marques of Wynches- 

tion for go in. But see Tyrwhitt's Gloss. ter and highe treasurer of Engelande, be- 

Ch. [See vol. i. p. 160. note *.] ing presented by John Heywoode with a 

" Fifte Hundred. Epigr. 55. booke, asked him what yt conteyned? and 

* [" The English proverbes gathered when Heywoode told him ' All the pro- 

by Ihon Heiwoode helpe well in this be- verbes in Englishe' 'What, all?' quoth 

haulfe (allegory), the whiche commonlie my Lorde ; ' No, Bate me an ace, quoth 

are nothyng els but allegories and darke Bolton, is that in youre booke 1 ' ' No, 

devised sentences," fol. 90 a. Again, "for by my faith, my Lorde, I thinke not,' aun- 

furnishing similitudes the proverbes of swered Heywoode." But the neatest re- 


first edition I have seen, is dated 1547*. All the proverbs of the En- 
glish language are here interwoven into a very silly comic tale. 

The lady of the story, an old widow now going to be married again, 
is thus described, with some degree of drollery, on the bridal day. 

In this late olde widow, and then olde newe wife, 

Age and Appetite fell at a strong strife. 

Her lust was as yong, as her lims were olde. 

The day of her wedding, like one to be solde, 

She set out herself in fyne apparell ; 

She was made like a beere-pot, or a barrell. 

A crooked hooked nose, beetle browde, blere eyde, 

Many men wisht for beautifying that bryde. 

Her waste to be gyrde in, and for a boone grace, 

Some well favoured visor on her ill favourd face ; 

But with visorlike visage, such as it was, 

She smirkt and she smilde, but so lisped this las, 

That folke might have thought it done onely alone 

Of wantonnesse, had not her teeth been gone. 

Upright as a candel standeth in a socket, 

Stoode she that day, so simpre de cocked. 

Of auncient fathers she tooke no cure nor care, 

She was to them as koy as a Crokers mare. 

She tooke the'ntertainment of the yong men, 

All in daliaunce, as nice as a nuns hen z . 

I suppose, That day her eares might well glow, 

For all the town talkt of her hie and low. 

One sayd a wel favourd olde woman shee is : 

The devill shee is, saide another : and to this 

plication of this professed court-wit seems To old JOHN HEYWOOD the Epigram- 

to be recorded in Camden's Remaines, matist. 

1605, p. 234. Hey wood being asked by O lde Hey wood have with thee in his od 

Queen Mary " What wind blew him to the vaine 

court ? " He answered, " Two specially : That yet with booksellers as new doth re- 

the one to see your Majestic." " We maine. 

thank you for that," said the Queen ; " but, New poets sin ' g r i m i ng but thy rymes ad _ 

I pray you, what is the other 1 " " That vance 

your Grace," said he, "might see me." Themselves in light measures: for thus 

Sir John Harrington has an Epigram on a they doe dance 

witty speech of Heywood to the Queene, Ile gather some prover bes thou gatherdst 

another on young Heywood's answer to before 

Lord, Warwick, and a third on old Hey- To descant upon them as thou didst of 

wood's sons. PARK.] yore &c . PARK.] 

* In quarto. Others followed, 1549. y ' , , , . . 

i KTO 1 C.RC- IK.'-C is<7 i \OQ * 1 do not understand this, which is 

1562. 15oo. lofb. 15o7. loUo. , , ,. , ,-,, ' 

,. marked tor a proverb. ^1 he phrase oc- 

[Davies, of Hereford, in his "Scourge c R urs in Skelton ' s Pu n y n S of Elynour 

of Folly," about 1611, printed a Descant mirr 

upon Englishe proverbes, and exhibited And 8 ra Y russet rocket 

with a retrograde taste, not only the man- With symper the cocket. PARK.] 

ner, but the dull rhymth (?) of his precur- z An admirable proverbial simile. It 

eor, in the following metrical address is used in Wilson's Arte of Rhetorike. "I 


In came the third with his five egges, and sayd, 
Fifty yere agoe I knew her a trim mayde. 
Whatever she were then, sayde one, she is nowe, 
To become a bryde, as meets as a sowe 
To beare a saddle. She is in this manage, 
As comely as a cowe in a cage. 
Gup with a gold back. Gill, come up to supper, 
What mine old mare would have a newe crupper, 
And now mine olde hat must have a new band, &c. a 

The work has its value and curiosity as a repertory of proverbs made 
at so early a period. Nor was the plan totally void of ingenuity, to ex- 
hibit these maxims in the course of a narrative, enlivened by facts and 
circumstances. It certainly was susceptible of humour and invention. 

Heywood's largest and most laboured performance is the SPIDER 
AND THE FLIE, with wooden cuts, printed at London by Thomas Powell, 
in 1556 b . It is a very long poem in the octave stanza, containing 
ninety-eight chapters. Perhaps there never was so dull, so tedious, 
and trifling an apologue : without fancy, meaning, or moral *. A long 
tale of fictitious manners will always be tiresome, unless the design be 
burlesque ; and then the ridiculous, arising from the contrast between 
the solemn and the light, must be ingeniously supported. Our author 
seems to have intended a fable on the burlesque construction f; but 
we know not when he would be serious and when witty, whether he 
means to make the reader laugh, or to give him advice. We must in- 
deed acknowledge, that the age was not yet sufficiently refined, either 
to relish or to produce burlesque poetry . Harrison, the author of the 

knewe a priest that \vas as nice as aNunnes Measure is a merry meane, 

Hen, when he would say masse he would And measure is this mate ; 

never saie DOMINUS VOBISCUM, but Do- To be a Deacon or a Dean 

minus Vobicum." M. 1 12 a. edit. 1567. 4to. Thou wouldst not change the state. 

a Second Part. ch. i. b In quarto. , 

* [Mr. Ellis, in his Historical Sketch ****"** ls a "^ me fl ane 

of English Poetry, &c., ch. xvi., has pro- * n v ? lewme * ful1 or flat > 

nounced this parabolic tale utterly con- Th ^ e , 1S , n cha *f r 

temptible :" but he has extracted two spe- That thou a PP hest llke that ' 

cimens from the First Century of Hey- Epig. upon Proverbes, Cent.iii. Ep.28. 

wood's Epigrams, which certainly possess PARK.] 

more true epigrammatic point than those t [Herbert says "We are to consider 

selected by Mr. Warton. The following the author here, as he really was, a catholic; 

lines afford the most favourable instance partial in vindicating the catholic cause 

of his versification. and the administration by queen Mary, 

whom he characterises by the maid, with 

ON MEASURE. her broom (the civil sword), executing the 

Measure is a merry meane, commands of her master (Christ) and her 

Which filde with noppy drinke mistress (holy church). By the flies are 

When merry drinkers drinke off cleane, to be understood the catholics ; and by the 

Then merrily they winke. spiders, the protestants. How justly the 

characters are supported I have neither 

Measure is a merry meane, leisure nor inclination to examine." MS. 

But I meane measures gret, note. PARK.] 

Where lippes to litele pitchers leane, c But I must not forget Chaucer's Sir 

Those lippes they scantly wet. Thopas, and that among the Cotton ma- 




DESCRIPTION OF BRITAINE, prefixed to Hollinshed's Chronicle, has 
left a sensible criticism on this poem. " One hath made a booke of 
the SPIDER AND THE FLIE, wherein he dealeth so profoundlie, and be- 

nuscripts, there is an anonymous poem, 
perhaps coeval with Chaucer, in the style 
of allegorical burlesque, which describes 
the power of money, with great humour, 
and in no common vein of satire. The 
hero of the piece is Sir Penny. MSS. 
Cott. Galtra, E. 9. 


In erth it es a littill thing, 
And regnes als 1 a riche king, 

Whare he es lent in land ; 
SIR PENI es his name calde, 
He makes both yong and aide 2 

Bow untill 3 his hand: 

Papes, kinges, and emperoures, 
Bisschoppes, abbottes, and priowres, 

Person, prest, and knyght, 
Dukes, erles, and ilk barowne, 
To serue him er 4 thai ful boune 5 , 

Both biday and nyght. 

SIR PENI chaunges man's mode, 

And gers 6 them oft to doun thaire hode 

And to rise him agayne 7 . 
Men honors him with grete reuerence, 
Makes ful mekell obedience 

Vnto that litill swaine. 

In kinges court es it no bote 8 , 
Ogaines SIR PENI for to mote 9 , 

Se mekill es he of myght, 
He es so witty and so strang, 
That be it neuer so mekill wrang, 

He will mak it right. 

With PENY may men wemen till 10 
Be thai neuer so strange of will, 

So oft may it be sene, 
Lang with him will thai noght chide, 
For he may ger tham trayl syde 11 

In gude skarlet and grene. 

He may by l2 by heuyn and hell, 
And ilka thing that es to sell. 

In erth has he swilk grace, 
He may lese 13 and he may bind. 
The pouer er ay put bihind, 

Whare he cumes in place. 

When he bigines him to mell 14 , 
He makes meke that are was fell, 

And waik 15 that bald has bene. 
All ye nedes ful sone er sped 16 , 
Bath withowten borgh and wed 1 ?, 

Whare PENI gase bitwene 18 . 

The domes men 19 he mase 10 so blind 
That he may noght the right find 

Ne the suth 21 to se. 
For to gif dome 22 tham es ful lath 23 , 
Tharwith to mak SIR PENI wrath, 

Ful dere with tham es he. 

Thare* 4 strif was PENI makes pese 25 , 
Of all angers he may relese, 

In land whare he will lende, 
Of fase 26 may he mak frendes sad, 
Of counsail thar tham neuer be rad 27 , 

That may haue him to frende. 

That SIRE es set on high dese i8 , 
And serued with mani riche mese 29 

At the high burde 30 . 
The more he es to men plente, 
The more zernid 31 alway es he : 

And halderi dere in horde. 
He makes mani be forsworne, 
And sum life and saul forlorne 32 , 

Him to get and wyn. 
Other god will thai none haue, 
Bot that litil round knaue, 

Thaire bales 33 for to blin 34 . 

On him halely 35 thaire hertes sett, 
Him for to luf 36 will thai noght let 37 , 

Nowther for gude ne ill. 
All that he will in erth haue done, 
Ilka man grantes it ful sone, 

Right at his awin will. 

He may both lene 38 and gyf; 
He may ger both sla and lif 39 , 
Both by frith and fell 40 . 

PENI es a gude felaw, 

Men welcums him in dede and saw 41 . 

Cum he neuer so oft, 
He es noght welkumd als a gest, 
But euermore serued with the best, 

And made at 42 sit ful soft. 

1 as. 2 old. 3 unto. * are. 6 ready. 6 makes, causes, compels. 
7 against, before. 8 use. 9 dispute. 10 approach, gain. u make them 
walk. [He may enable them to wear long sweeping dresses. A " trayl-syde gown," 
says Dr. Jamieson, " is so long as to trail upon the ground."] 12 buy. 

17 borrowing 

18 loose. 14 meddle. 15 weak. lfl all you want is soon done. 

or pledging, [surety and pledge.] 18 goes between. 19 judges. 20 makes. 

21 truth. 22 judgement. 23 loath. 2 < where. 25 peace. 2S foes. 27 void. 
28 seat, [the dais.] 29 mess. 30 high- table. 31 coveted. 32 despise, quit, [lose.] 
33 eyes, [miseries.] 34 blind, [stop.] 35 wholly. 36 love. 37 never cease. 38 lend. 
39 kill and save. 40 sea and land, [wood and hill.] 41 doing and speaking. 42 to sit. 




yond all measure of skill, that neither he himselfe that made it, neither 
anie one that readeth it, can reach unto the meaning thereof d ." It is 
a proof of the unpopularity * of this poem, that it never was reprinted. 
Our author's EPIGRAMS, and the poem of PROVERBS, were in high 
vogue, and had numerous editions before the year 1598 f. The most 
lively part of the SPIDER AND FLIE is perhaps the mock-fight between 
the spiders and flies, an awkward imitation of Homer's BATRACHO- 
MUOMACHY. The preparations for this bloody and eventful engage- 
ment, on the part of the spiders, in their cobweb-castle, are thus de- 

Who so es sted in any nede 43 , 
With SIR PENI may thai spede, 

How so euer they betyde 44 . 
He that SIR PENI es with all, 
Sal haue his will in stede and stall, 

When other er set byside 45 . 

SIR PENY gers, in riche wede, 
Ful mani go and ride on stede 46 , 

In this werldes wide. 
In ilka 47 gamin and ilka play, 
The maystri es gifen ay 

To PENY, for his pride. 

SIR PENY over all gettes the gre 48 , 
Both in burgh and in cete 49 , 

In castell and in towre. 
Withowten owther 50 spere orschelde, 
Es he the best in frith or felde, 

And- stalworthest in stowre 51 . 

In ilka place, the suth es sene 52 , 
SIR PENI es ouer-al bidene, 

Maister most in mode. 
And all es als he will cumand : 
Ogains his stevyn 53 dar no man stand, 

Nowther by land ne flode. 

SIR PENY mai ful mekill availe 54 
To tham that has nede of cownsail, 

Als sene es in assize 55 : 
He lenkithes 56 life and saues fro ded 57 . 
Botluf it noght ouer wele I rede 53 , 

For sin of couaityse 59 . 

If thou haue happ tresore to win, 
Delite the noght to mekill tharin 60 . 

Ne nything 61 thareof be, 
But spend it als wele als thou can, 
So that thou luf both god and man 

In perfite charite. 

God grant vs grace with hert and will, 
The gudes that he has gifen vs till 68 , 
Wele and wisely to spend. 

And so oure liues here for to lede, 
That we may haue his blis to mede 63 , 
Euer withowten end. Amen. 

An old Scotch poem called SIR PENNY 
has been formed from this, printed in 
Antient Scottish Poems, p. 153. Edinb. 

d Descript. Brit. p. 226. Hollinsh. 
Chron. torn. i. 

* [Or rather, says Herbert, because 
popery has not since been re-established. 
MS. note. PARK.] 

f [In that year, or perhaps in 1596, 
the Epigrams of sir John Davis were 
printed, and the following lines therein 
addressed In Haywodum. 

Haywood that did in Epigrams excell 
In non put downe since my light Muse 


As buckets are put down into a well, 
Or as a schooleboy pulleth down his 
hose. Ep. 29. 

The lightness of Davis's witticisms led 
to their inhibition in 1599. Bastard in 
his Christoloros 1598, has two allusions 
to Hey wood ; and in some satirical poems 
published about 1616, 1 believe by Anton, 
it is said, 

Heywood was held for Epigrams the best 
What time old Churchyard dealt in verse 
and prose: 

But fashions since are grown out of re- 

As bombast, doublets, bases and round 
hose ; 

Or as your lady may it now be saide, 

That looks lesse lovely than her cham- 
bermaide. PARK.] 

44 whatever happens, 

45 despised. 
48 degree, pre-eminence. 

43 under any difficulty. 
46 causes many to ride, &c. 

49 town and city. 5 either. 51 sto " utest i n batt ] e . 5 2 "truth is seen. 

53 voice sound. 54 be of much power. 55 as appears in the place of 

judicature, or, in passing sentence. 56 lengthens. 57 death. 5 love 

money not too much, I advise. 59 covetousness. 60 too much therein. 

61 nyding. Be not too careless [niggardly] of it. 62 to us. 63 our rewar d. 


Behold ! the battilments in every loope : 
How th' ordinance lieth, flies far and nere to fach : 
Behold how everie peace, that lieth there in groope 6 , 
Hath a spider gonner, with redy-fired match. 
Behold on the wals, spiders making ware wach : 
The wach-spider in the towre a larum to strike, 
At aproch of any nomber shewing warlike. 

Se the enprenabill f fort, in every border, 
How everie spider with his wepon doth stand, 
So thorowlie harnests, in so good order : 
The capital h spider, with wepon in hand, 
For that sort of sowdiers so manfully mand, 
With copwebs like casting nets all flies to quell : 
My hart shaketh at the sight : behold it is hell ! ' l 

The beginning of all this confusion is owing to a fly entering the 
poet's window, not through a broken pane, as might be presumed, but 
through the lattice, where it is suddenly entangled in a cobweb. k The 
cobweb, however, will be allowed to be sufficiently descriptive of the 
poet's apartment. But I mention this circumstance as a probable proof, 
that windows of lattice, and not of glass, were now the common 
fashion. 1 

e in rows. f impregnable. In the Conclusion to the Spider and 

g clad in armour. Flie, Heywood mentions queen Mary and 

h perhaps capitayne. king Philip 1 . But as most of his pieces 

1 Cap. 37. Signat. B b. k Cap. i. seem to have been written some time be- 

1 See his Epigrammes. Epig. 82. First fore, I have placed him under Henry the 

Hundred. And Puttenham's Arte of En- Eighth. 

glish Poesie, Lib. i. c. 31. p. 49. One of [The following doubtless was composed 
Hey wood's Epigrams is descriptive of his on the spousals of Philip and Mary : "A 
life and character. Fifte Hundred. Epigr. balade specifienge partly the maner, part- 
100. ly the matter, in the most excellent meet- 
Op HEYWOOD. vn g an d lyke mariage betwene our sove- 
raigne Lord and our soveraigne Lady, the 
Art thou Heywood with the mad mery ky * geg and queenes highne * p ^ fey 

John Heywood." Herb. p. 800. Oldys 
Yea forsooth, mayster, that same is even say he had geen A brief / balet Aching 

, ' the trayterous takvnge of Scarborow cas- 

Art thou Heywood that applyeth mirth fl gl f bscribed j/Heywood, and printed 

more than thrift ? in b L Mention - g made of these g5> 

Yes, sir, I take mery mirth a golden gift. note> The firgt of them ig all f call 

Art thou Heywood that hath made many fi ti and b ins . 

mad Playes ? 

Yea, many playes, few good woorkes in The Egles byrde hath spred his wings 

all my dayes. And from far of hathe taken flyght, 

Art thou Heywood that hath made men j n w hiche meane way by no lourings 

mery long? On bough or braunch this birde wold 

Yea, and will, if 1 be made mery among. light ; 

Art thou Heywood that would be made Till on the Rose, both red and whight, 

mery now ? He lighteth now most lovinglie 

Yea, sir, helpe me to it now I beseech And therto moste behovinglie. 


1 [Mr. Warton must have read the Conclusion of Heywood very cursorily, says Her- 
bert, or he would not have been at such a loss for the intention of his poem of the 
Spider and the Flie. PARK.] 


John Hey wood died at Mechlin in Brabant about the year 1565*. 
He was inflexibly attached to the catholic cause, and on the death of 
queen Mary quitted the kingdom. Antony Wood remarks 1 ", with his 
usual acrimony, that it was a matter of wonder with many, that, con- 
sidering the great and usual want of principle in the profession, a poet 
should become a voluntary exile for the sake of religion. 


Sir Thomas Mores English Poetry. Tournament of Tottenham. Its 
age and scope. Laurence Minot. Alliteration. Digression illus- 
trating comparatively the language of the fifteenth century, by a spe- 
cimen of the Metrical Armoric Romance of Ywayn and Gawayn. 

I KNOW not if sir Thomas More may properly be considered as an En- 
glish poet. He has, however, left a few obsolete poems, which although 
without any striking merit, yet, as productions of the restorer of lite- 
rature in England, seem to claim some notice here. One of these is, 
A MERY JEST how a SERGEANT would learne to play the FREERE. 
Written by Maister Thomas More in hys youth 9 -. The story is too 
dull and too long to be told here. But I will cite two or three of the 
prefatory stanzas. 

He that hath lafte b the Hosier's crafte, 

And falleth to making shone c ; 
The smythe that shall to payntyng fall, 

His thrift is well nigh done. 
A blacke draper with whyte paper, 

To goe to writyng scole, 
An olde butler becum a cutler, 

I wene shall prove a fole. 

Fuller speaks of a book written by Hey- This author Haywood dead and gone, and 
wood entitled " Monumenta Literaria," shrinde in tombe of clay, 
which are said to be uon tarn labore con- Bifore his death by penned workes did 
dita, quam lepore condita. Worthies of carefully assay 
London, p. 221. Lord Hales pointed out To builde himselfe a lasting tombe, not 
a few lines in The Evergreen as the com- made of stone and lyme, 
position of Heywood, but they prove to be But better farre and richer too triumph- 
one of his Epigrams Scoticised. See Cent. ing over T yme. PAKK.] 
i. p. 25. PARK.] m . , 

* [An epilogue or conclusion to the 8 \ Oxo T n ' L . 1 ;J;, . , ,. 

works of Heywood in 1587, by Thomas _ ^ orkes ' Lond ' 1557 ' m foll ' Sl 8 n ' 

Newton the Cheshire poet, thus notices b*i ft c i 


And an olde trot, that can, got wot, 

Nothyng but kysse the cup, 
With her phisick will keep one sicke, 

Till she have soused hym up. 
A man of lawe that never sawe 

The wayes to bye and sell, 
Wenyng to ryse by marchaundyse, 

I praye God spede hym well ! 
A marchaunt eke, that wyll goo seke 

By all the meanes he may, 
To fall in sute tyll he dispute 

His money cleane away ; 
Pletyng the lawe for every strawe, 

Shall prove a thrifty man, 
With bate d and strife, but by my life, 

I cannot tell you whan. 
Whan an hatter wyll go smatter 

In philosophy ; 
Or a pedlar waxe a medlar 

In theology. 

In these lines, which are intended to illustrate, by familiar examples, 
the absurdity of a serjeant at law assuming the business of a friar, 
perhaps the reader perceives but little of that festivity, which is sup- 
posed to have marked the character and the conversation of sir Thomas 
More. The last two stanzas deserve to be transcribed, as they prove, 
that this tale was designed to be sung to music by a minstrel, for the 
entertainment of company. 

Now Masters all, here now I shall 

Ende there as I began ; 
In any wyse, I would avyse, 

And counsayle every man, 
His own craft use, all newe refuse, 

And lyghtly let them gone : 
Play not the FRERE, Now make good cheere, 

And welcome everych one. 

This piece is mentioned, among other popular story-books in 1575, 
the reign of queen Elisabeth 6 . 

In CERTAIN METERS, written also in his youth, as a prologue for his 
BOKE OF FORTUNE, and forming a poem of considerable length, are 
these stanzas, which are an attempt at personification and imagery. 
FORTUNE is represented sitting on a lofty throne, smiling on all man- 

d debate. e Fol. 44. seq. 


kind, who are gathered around her eagerly expecting a distribution of 

her favours. 

Then, as a bayte, she bryngeth forth her ware, 
Silver and gold, riche perle and precious stone ; 
On whiche the mased people gase and stare, 
And gape therefore, as dogges doe for the bone. 
FORTUNE at them laugheth : and in her trone 
Amyd her treasure and waveryng rychesse 
Prowdly she hoveth as lady and empresse. 

Fast by her syde doth wery Labour stand, 
Pale Fere also, and Sorow all bewept ; 
Disdayn and Hatred, on that other hand, 
Eke restles Watche fro slepe with travayle kept : 
Before her standeth Daunger and Envy, 
Flattery, Dysceyt, Mischiefe, and Tiranny. f 

Another of sir Thomas More's juvenile poems is, A RUFUL LAMEN- 
TACION on the death of queen Elisabeth, wife of Henry the Seventh, 
and mother of Henry the Eighth, who died in childbed, in 1503. It is 
evidently formed on the tragical soliloquies, which compose Lydgate's 
paraphrase of Boccace's book DE CASIBUS VIRORUM ILLUSTRIUM, and 
which gave birth to the MIRROR FOR MAGISTRATES, the origin of our 
historic dramas. These stanzas are part of the queen's complaint at 
the approach of death. 

Where are our castels now, where are our towers ? 

Goodly RychemondeS, sone art thou gone from me ! 

At Westmynster that costly worke of yours, 

Myne owne dere lorde, now shall I never see ! 

Almighty God vouchesafe to graunt that ye 

For you and your children well may edify : 

My palyce byldyd is, and lo now here I ly. h 

Farewell my doughter, lady Margarete 1 ! 
God wotte, full oft it greved hath my mynde 
That ye should go where we should seldome mete, 
Now I am gone and have left you behynde. 
O mortall folke, that we be very blynde ! 
That we last feere, full oft it is most nye : 
From you depart I must, and lo now here I lye. 

Farewell, madame, my lordes worthy mother k ! 
Comfort your son, and be ye of good chere. 
Take all a worth, for it will be no nother. 

f Ibid. Sign. $T vi. Married in 1503 to James the Fourth, 

e the palace of Richmond. king of Scotland. 

h Henry VII.'s chapel, begun in the year k Margaret countess of Richmond. 
1502, the year before the queen died. 


Farewell my doughter Katharine, late the fere 
To prince Arthur myne owne chyld so dere 1 . 
It booteth not for me to wepe or cry : 
Pray for my soule, for lo now here I ly. 

Adew lord Henry, my lovyng sonne adew m , 
Our lorde encrease your honour and estate. 
Adew my doughter Mary, bright of hew", 
God make you vertuous, wyse, and fortunate. 
Adew swete hart, my little doughter Kate : 
Thou shalt, sweete babe, suche is thy desteny, 
Thy mother never know, for lo now here I ly.P 

In the fourth stanza she reproaches the astrologers for their falsity 
in having predicted that this should be the happiest and most fortunate 
year of her whole life. This, while it is a natural reflection in the 
speaker, is a proof of More's contempt of a futile and frivolous science, 
then so much in esteem. I have been prolix in my citation from this 
forgotten poem : but I am of opinion that some of the stanzas have 
strokes of nature and pathos, and deserved to be rescued from total 

More, when a young man, contrived in an apartment of his father's 
house a goodly hangyng offynepaynted clothe, exhibiting nine pageants, 
or allegoric representations, of the stages of man's life, together with 
the figures of Death, Fame, Time, and Eternity. Under each picture 
he wrote a stanza. The first is under CHILDHODE, expressed by a boy 
whipping a top. 

I anr called CHYLDHOD, in play is all my mynde, 

To cast a coytei, a cockstele r , and a ball; 

A toppe can I set, and dryve in its kynde ; 

But would to God, these hatefull bookes all 

Were in a fyre brent to pouder small 1 

Than myght I lede my lyfe alwayes in play, 

Which lyfe God sende me to myne endyng day. 

Next was pictured MAN HOD, a comely young man mounted on a 
fleet horse, with a hawk on his fist, and followed by two greyhounds, 
with this stanza affixed. 

MANHOD I am, therefore I me delyght 

To hunt and hawke, to nourishe up and fede 

The grayhounde to the course, the hawke to th' flyght, 

And to bestryde a good and lusty stede : 

These thynges become a very man in dede. 

1 Catharine of Spain, wife of her son after she was delivered of this infant, the 

prince Arthur, now dead. princess Catharine, who did not long sur- 

m Afterwards king Henry the Eighth. vive her mother's death. 

n Afterwards queen of France. Remar- p Workes, ut supr. q a quoit, 

ried to Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk. r a stick for throwing at a cock. Stele 

The queen died within a few days is handle, Sax. 



Yet thynketh this boy his pevishe game sweter, 
But what, no force, his reason is no better. 

The personification of FAME, like RUMOUR in the Chorus to Shak- 
speare's HENRY THE FOURTH, is surrounded with tongues 8 . 

Tapestry, with metrical legends illustrating the subject, was common 
in this age ; and the public pageants in the streets were often exhibited 
with explanatory verses. I am of opinion, that the COMCEDIOL^E, or 
little interludes, which More is said to have written and acted in his 
father's house, were only these nine pageants*. 

Another juvenile exercise of More in the English stanza, is annexed 
to his prose translation of the LIFE of John Picus Mirandula, and en- 
exciting, partely directing a man in SPIRITUAL BATAILE U . The old 
collector of his ENGLISH WORKES has also preserved two shorte bal- 
lettes, or stanzas, which he wrote for his pastyme, while a prisoner in 
the Tower x . 

It is not my design, by these specimens, to add to the fame of sir 
Thomas More ; who is reverenced by posterity, as the scholar who 
taught that erudition which civilised his country, and as the philosopher 
who met the horrours of the block with that fortitude which was equally 
free from ostentation and enthusiasm : as the man, whose genius over- 
threw the fabric of false learning, and whose amiable tranquillity of 
temper triumphed over the malice and injustice of tyranny. 

To some part of the reign of Henry the Eighth I assign the TOUR- 
NAMENT OF TOTTENHAM, or The ivooeing, winning, and wedding of 
TIBBE the Reeves Daughter there. I presume it will not be supposed 
to be later than that reign : and the substance of its phraseology, which 
I divest of its obvious innovations, is not altogether obsolete enough for 
a higher period. I am aware, that in a manuscript of the British Mu- 
seum it is referred to the time of Henry the Sixth. But that manu- 
script affords no positive indication of that date^. It was published 

8 Workes, Sign. C. iii. DAVY THE DYCER. 

4 See vol. ii. p. 530, note r . Long was I, lady Luck, your serving 

u These pieces were written in the man, 

reign of Henry the Seventh ; but as More an a now have lost agayne all that I gat; 

flourished in the succeeding reign, I have wherefore, whan I thinke on you nowe 
placed them accordingly. & than, 

w Workes, b.iii. an( j j n my m i n de remember this & that, 

* Ut supr. fol. 1432. [These ballettes ye may not blame me, though I beshrew 
are here given : your cat . 

LEWYS THE LOST LOVER. but > in ^Y^ l blesse y u ag a Y ne a thou ' 

Ey, flatenng Fortune, loke thou never so for le ^**e* owe som e layaure to make 

Or never so plesantly begin to smile, rymes. PARK.] 

As though thou wouldst my ruine all re- y MSS. Harl. 5396. [One of the en- 

payre, tries in this MS. is dated the 34th year of 

During my life thou shalt me not begile : Henry VI. or 1456. There can be no 

Trust shall I God, to entre in a while doubt that the poem is of equal antiquity. 

His haven of heaven sure and uniforme, PRICE.] 
Ever after thy calme loke I for a storme. 



from an ancient manuscript in the year 1631, and reduced to a more 
modern style, by William Bed well, rector of Tottenham, and one of the 
translators of the Bible. He says it was written by Gilbert Pilkington, 
supposed to have been rector of the same parish, and author of an un- 
known tract, called PASSIO DOMINI JESU. But Bedwell, without the 
least comprehension of the scope and spirit of the piece, imagines it to 
be a serious narrative of a real event ; and, with as little sagacity, be- 
lieves it to have been written before the year 1330. Allowing that it 
might originate from a real event, and that there might be some pri- 
vate and local abase at the bottom, it is impossible that the poet could 
be serious. Undoubtedly the chief merit of this poem, although not 
destitute of humour, consists in the design rather than the execution. 
As Chaucer, in the RIME OF SIR THOPAS Z , travestied the romances of 

[The Rev. Wilhelm Bedwell, who 
published the Turnament of Tottenham, 
from an ancient MS. in 1631, 4to, says, 
in his Epistle to the reader, " It is now 
seven or eight years since I came to the 
sight of the copy, and that by the meanes 
of the worthy and my much honoured 
good friend, M. George Withers, of whom 
also, now at length, I have obtained the 
use of the same. And because the verse 
was then by him ( a man of so exquisite 
judgement in this kinde of learning) 
much commended, as also for the thing 
it selfe, I thought it worth while to tran- 
scribe it and to make it public," &c. 

I take this opportunity of observing, 
that the stanza of one of Laurence Mi- 
not's poems on the wars of Edward the 
Third, is the same as Chaucer's Sir To- 
pas. Minot was Chaucer's contemporary. 
MSS. Cott. Galb. E. ix, 

Edward oure cumly king 
In Braband has his woning, 

With mani cumly knight, 
And in that land, trewly to tell, 
Ordains he still for to dwell, 

To time he think to fight. 

Now God that es of mightes maste, 
Grant him grace of the Haly Gaste, 

His heritage to win ; 
And Mari moder of mercy fre, 
Save oure king, and his menze, 

Fro sorow, schame, and syn. 

Thus in Braband has he bene, 
Whare he bifore was seldom sene, 

For to prove thaire japes ; 
Now- no langer wil he spare, 
Botunto Fraunce fast will he fare, 

To confort him with grapes. 

Furth he ferd into France, 
God save him fro mischance, 

And all his cumpany ; 
The nobill due of Braband 
With him went into that land, 

Redy to lif or dy. 

Than the riche floure de lice 
Wan thare ful litill prise, 

Fast he fled for ferde ; 
The right aire 1 of that cuntre 
Es cumen with all his knightes fre 

To schac 2 him by the berd. 

Sir Philip the Valayse, 
Wit his men in tho dayes, 

To batale had he thoght; 
He bad his men tham purvay 
Withowten lenger delay, 

Bot he ne held it noght. 

He broght folk ful grete wone, 
Ay sevyn ogains one, 

That ful wele wapind 3 were; 
Bot sone when he herd ascry, 
That king Edward was nere tharby, 

Than durst he noght cum nere. 

In that morning fell a myst ; 

And when oure Ingliss men it wist, 

It changed all thaire chere : 
Oure king unto God made his bone, 
And God sent him gude confort sone, 

The weder wex ful clere. 

Oure king and his men helde the felde, 
Stalworthly with spere and schelde, 

And thoght to win his right;" 
With lordes and with knightes kene, 
And other doghty men bydene, 

That war ful frek to fight. 

When sir Philip of France herd tell, 
That king Edward in feld walld dwell, 
Than gayned him no gle ; 

1 heir. 

2 shake. 

weaponed, armed. 

II 2 



chivalry, the TOURNAMENT OF TOTTENHAM is a burlesque on the 
parade and fopperies of chivalry itself. In this light, it may be con- 
sidered as a curiosity ; and does honour to the good sense and discern- 
ment of the writer, who seeing through the folly of these fashionable 
exercises, was sensible at the same time, that they were too popular to 
be attacked by the more solid weapons of reason and argument. Even 
on a supposition that here is an allusion to real facts and characters, 
and that it was intended to expose some popular story of the amours of 
the daughter of the Reve of Tottenham, we must acknowledge that the 
satire is conveyed in an ingenious mode. He has introduced a parcel 
of clowns and rustics, the inhabitants of Tottenham, Islington, High- 
gate, and Hackney, places then not quite so polished as at present*, 
who imitate all the solemnities of the barriers. The whole is a mock- 
parody on the challenge, the various events of the encounter, the ex- 
hibition of the prize, the devices and escocheons, the display of arms, 
the triumphant procession of the conqueror, the oath before the com- 
bat, and the splendid feast which followed, with every other ceremony 
and circumstance which constituted the regular tournament. The 
reader will form an idea of the work from a short extract* 1 . 

He that bearth him best in the tournament, 
Shal be graunted the gree b by the common assent, 
For to winne my daughter with doughtinesse of dent c , 
And Copple my broode hen that was brought out of Kent, 

He traisted of no better bote, 
Bot both on hors and on fote, 
He hasted him to fle. 

It semid he was ferd for strokes, 
When he did fell his grete okes 

Obout his pavilyoune. 
Abated was than all his pride, 
For langer thare durst he noght bide, 

His bost was broght all doune. 

The king of Berne had cares colde> 
That was ful hardy, and bolde, 

A stede to nmstride : 
[He and] the king als of Naverne 
War faire ferd in the feme 

Thaire heviddes for to hide. 

And leves wele, it is no lye, 
The felde hat Flemangrye 

That king Edward was in ; 
With princes that war stif ande bolde, 
And dukes that war doghty tolde, 

In batayle to begin. 

The princes that war riche on raw, 
Gert nakers strikes and trumpes blaw 4 , 

And made mirth at thaire might ; 
Both alblast and many a bow 
War redy railed opon a row, 

And ful frek for to fight. 

Gladly thai gaf mete and drink, 
So that thai suld the better swink y 

The wight men that thar ware : 
Sir Philip of Fraunce fled for dout, 
And hied him hame with all his rout, 

Coward, God giff him care. 

For thare than had the lely flowre 
Lorn all halely his honowre, 

That so gat fled for ferd ; 
Bot oure king Edward come ful still, 
When that he trowed no harm him till, 

And keped him in the berde. 

[This and the following specimens from 
Minot have been corrected by Mr. Rh- 
son's editions of his poems. PRICE.] 

* [Here Dr. Ashby remarks that Tot- 
tenham, &c. were always as near the ca- 
pital, and consequently as much so then 
as now, comparatively. But what is more 
to the point, and as true as strange, the 
lower classes are little better than those 
of the same rank at a greater distance. 

a V. 42. 

b prize. 

strength of blows. 

4 In glittering ranks, made the drums beat and trumpets blow. 


And my dunned cow : 

For no spence d will I spare, 
For no cattell will I care. 
He shall have my gray mare, and my spotted sow. 

There was many a bold lad their bodyes to bede e ; 
Then they toke their leave, and hamward they hede f ; 
And all the weke after they gayed her wede&, 
Till it come to the day that they should do their dede h : 
They armed them in mattes ; 
They sett on their nowls 4 
Good blacke bowls k , 
To keep their powls 1 from battering of battes. 

They sewed hem in sheepskinnes for they should not brest", 

And every ilk of them had a blacke hatte instead of a crest; 

A baskett or panyer before on their brest, 

And a flayle in her hande, for to fight prestP, 
Forthe con thei fare q . 

There was kid r mickle force. 
Who should best fend 8 his corse, 

He that had no good horse, borrowed him a mare, &C. 1 

It appears to me, that the author, to give dignity to his narrative, 
and to heighten the ridicule by stiffening the familiarity of his incidents 
and characters, has affected an antiquity of style. This I could prove 
from the east of its fundamental diction and idiom, with which many 
of the old words do not agree. Perhaps another of the author's af- 
fectations is the alliterative manner ; for although other specimens of 
alliteration, ra smaller pieces, are now to be found, yet it was a singu- 
larity. To those which I have mentioned, of this reign, I take this 
opportunity of adding an alliterative poem, which may be called the 

expence. and might probably once have been se- 

bid, offer. f hied. parate papers, here stitched together. A* 

made their clothes gay. the end of one of them, viz. fol. 46. The 

fight for the lady. lysom ledys the Blynde, mention is in- 

heads. serted of an accornpt settled ann. 34. 

instead of helmets. Hen. VI. And this is in the hand and ink 

poles. m cudgels. of that poem, and of some others. The 

they sewed themselves up in sheep Tournament of Tottenham, which might 

sk ns, by way of armour, to avoid being once have been detached from the present 

hu t. collection, comes at some distance after- 
each. p ready. wards, and cannot perhaps for a certainty 
on they went. be pronounced to be of the same writing, 
kithed, i. e. shown. u Coloph. " Thus endeth the faucon 
defend. and pie anno dni 1542. Imprynted by 
I have before observed, that it was a me Rob. Wyer for Richarde Bankes." 

disgrace to chivalry to ride on a mare. I have an ancient manuscript allitera- 

The poems of this manuscript do not tive poem, in which a despairing lover 

seem to be all precisely of the same hand, bids farewell to his mistress. At the end 




author's name Robert Vaghane, or Vaughan, is prefixed to some son- 
nets which form a sort of epilogue to the performance. 

For the purpose of ascertaining or illustrating the age of pieces 

is written, " Explicit Amor p. Ducem 
Eborr nup. fact." I will here cite a few 
of the stanzas of this unknown prince. 
[Q,u. Edward Duke of York, eldest son of 
Edmond of Langley? See Noble Au- 
thors, i. 183. ed. 1806. PARK.] 

Farewell Lady of grete pris, 

Farewell wys, both fair and free, 

Farewell freefull flourdelys, 

Farewell buril, bright of ble ! 

Farewell mirthe that y do mysse, 
Farewell Prowesse in purpull pall ! 

Farewell creatur comely to kisse, 
Farewell Faucon, fare you befall ! 

Farewell amerouse and amyable, 
Farewell worthy, witty, and wys, 

Farewell pured pris prisable, 
Farewell ryal rose in the rys. 

Farewell derworth of dignite, 
Farewell grace of governaunce, 

However y fare, farewell ye, 

Farewell prymerose my plesaunce ! 

For the use of those who collect spe- 
cimens of alliteration, I will add an in- 
stance in the reign of Edward the Third 
from the Banocburn of Laurence Minot, 
all whose pieces, in some degree, are 
tinctured with it. MSS. Cott. Galb. E. ix. 
ut supr. 

Skottes out of Berwik and of Abirdene, 
At the Bannokburn war ze to kene ; 
Thare slogh ze many sakles 1 , als it was 

And now has king Edward wroken it I 

It es wroken I wene wele wurth the 

War zit with the Skottes for thai er ful 

of gile. 

Whare er ze Skottes of saint Johnes 

toune ? 
The boste of zowre baner es betin all 

When ze bosting will 2 bede, sir Edward 

es boune, 
For to kindel zow care and crak zowre 

crowne : 
He has crakked zowre croune wele worth 

the while, 
Schame bityde the Skottes for thai er 

full of gile. 

Skottes of Striflin war steren 3 and stout, 
Of God ne of gude men had thai no 

dout ; 

Now have thai the pelers priked obout, 
Bot at the last sir Edward rifild thaire 

He has rifild thaire rout wele wurth the 

Bot euer er thai under bot gaudes and 


Rughfute riueling now kindels thi care, 
Bere-bag with thi boste thi biging 4 es 

Fals wretche and forsworn, whider wiltou 

fare ? 

Busk the unto Brig and abide thare. 
Thare wretche saltou won, and wery the 

Thi dwelling in Donde es done for thi 


The Skottes gase 5 in burghes and betes 

the stretes, 

All thise Inglis men harmes he hetes ; 
Fast makes he his mone to men that he 

Bot sone frendes he finds that his bale 


Sune betes his bale wele wurth the while, 
He uses all threting with gaudes and gile. 

Bot many man thretes and spekes full 

That sumtyme war better to be stane 

still ; 
The Skot in his wordes has wind for to 

For at the last Edward sail haue al his 

He had his will at Berwick wele wurth 

the while, 
Skottes broght him the kayes, bot get for 

thaire gile. 

A VISION on vellum, perhaps of the 
same age, is alliterative. MSS. Cott. 
Nero, A. x. These are specimens. 

Ryzt as the maynful mone con rys 6 , 
Er thenne the day glem dryve aldoun', 
So sodenly, on a wonder wyse, 
I was war of a prosessyoun 8 : 
This noble cite of ryche enpresse 
Was sodanly full, withouten somoun 9 , 
Of such vergynes in the same gyse 

1 naked, [guiltless. RITSON.] a allow it, [offer. R.] 3 stern. 

4 clothing, [dwelling. R.] 6 go, 6 as the moon began to rise. 

7 the even drove down the day-light. 8 procession. 9 summons, notice. 




which have been lately or will be soon produced, I here stop to recall 
the reader's attention to the poetry and language of the last century, 
by exhibiting some extracts from the manuscript romance of YWAIN 
AND GAWAIN, which has some great outlines of Gothic painting, and 
appears to have been written in the reign of king Henry the Sixth w . 
I premise, that but few circumstances happened, which contributed 
to the improvement of our language, within that and the present pe- 

The following is the adventure of the enchanted forest attempted by 
sir Colgrevance, which he relates to the knights of the round table at 
Cardiff in Wales x . 

That was my blisful an under croun, 
And coronde wern alle 10 of the same 

Depaynt in perles and wedes qwhyte 11 . 


On golden gates that glent l2 as glas. 

But mylde as mayden sene at mas. 
The poem begins, 

Perle plesant to princes raye, 
So clanly clos in golde so cler 13 . 

In the same manuscript is an allitera- 
tive poem without rhyme, exactly in the 
versification of Pierce Plowman, of equal 
or higher antiquity, viz. 

Olde Abraham in erde 14 over he syttes, 
Even byfor his house doore under an oke 

Bryzt blikked the bem 15 of the brod he- 

In the hyze hete 16 therof Abraham bides. 

The hand- writing of these two last-men- 
tioned pieces cannot be later than Ed- 
ward the Third. [See supr. vol. ii. p. 

w MSS. Cott. Galb. E. ix. [Ritson 
considers this MS. to be at least as old as 
the time of king Richard II. Obs. p. 34. 
The language, he adds, of all the poems 
in the same MS. is a strong northern dia- 
lect, from which it may be inferred that 
they are the composition of persons, most 
likely monks, resident in that part of 
England, where in former times were 
several nourishing monasteries. Notes to 
Met. Romances, iii. 229. PARK.] 

x [The present text has been corrected 
by Mr. Ritson's edition of this romance. 

King Arthur, 

He made a feste, the sothe to say, 
Opon the Witsononday, 
At Kerdyf, that es in Wales, 
And efter mete thar in the hales 17 , 
Ful grete and gay was the assemble 
Of lordes and ladies of that cuntre. 
And als of knightes, war and wyse, 
And damisels of mykel pryse, 
Ilkane with other made grete gamin, 
And grete solace, als thai war samin, 
Fast thai carped, and curtaysli, 
Of dedes of armes, and ofveneri, 
And of gude knightes, &c. 

It is a piece of considerable length, and 
contains a variety of GESTS. Sir Ywain 
is sir Ewain, or Owen, in Morte Arthur. 
None of these adventures belong to that 
romance. But see B. iv. c. 17. 27. etc. 
The story of the lion and the dragon in 
this romance, is told of a Christian cham- 
pion in the Holy War, by Berchorius, 
Reductor. p. 661. See supr. vol. i. Diss. 
on the Gest. Romanor. ch. civ. The lion 
being delivered from the dragon by sir 
Ywain, ever afterwards accompanies' and 
defends him in the greatest dangers. 
Hence Spenser's Una attended by a lion. 
F. Qu. i. iii. 7. See sir Percival's lion in 
Morte Arthur, B. xiv. c. 6. The dark 
ages had many stories and traditions of 
the lion's gratitude and generosity to man. 
Hence in Shakspeare, Troilus says, Tr. 
and Cress, act v. sc. 3. 

Brother, you have a vice of mercy in 

Which better fits a lion than a man. 

[The darker ages had many stories of the 
gratitude and generosity of lions towards 
man. ASHBY.] 

10 all wore a crown. n white robes. 12 glanced, shone. 

13 cleanly, a pearl beautifully inclosed or set in gold. 14 earth. 

15 Bright shone the beam. 16 high heat. 17 halls. 


A faire forest sone I fand?, 

Me thoght mi hap z thare fel ful hard 

For thar was mani a wilde lebard a , 

Lions, beres, bath bul and bare, 

That re w fully gan rope b and rare c . 

Oway I drogh d me, and with that, 

I saw sone whar a man sat 

On a lawnd, the fowlest wight, 

That ever yit e man saw in syght : 

He was*"a lathly f creatur, 

For fowl he was out of mesur ; 

A wonder maces in hand he hade, 

And sone mi way to him I made ; 

His hevyd h , me thoght, was als grete 

Als of a rowncy or a nete 1 . 

Unto his belt hang k his hare 1 ; 

And efter that by held I mare m , 

To his forhede byheld I than 

Was bradder" than twa large span ; 

He had eres als? ane olyfant, 

And was wele more** than geant, 

His face was ful brade and flat, 

His nese r was cutted as a cat, 

His browes war like litel buskes 8 , 

And his tethe like bare tuskes ; 

A ful grete bulge* open his bak, 

Thar was noght made withowten lac" ; 

His chin was fast until w his brest, 

On his mace he gan him rest. 

Also it was a wonder wede x 

That the cherlev yn yede z , 

Nowther a of wol b ne of line c , 

Was the wede that he went yn. 

When he me sagh, he stode up right, 

I frayned d him if he wolde fight, 

For tharto was I in gude will, 

Bot als e a beste than stode he still : 

I hopid f that he no wittes kowth*, 

Ne reson for to speke with mowth. 

y found. z chance, fortune. p as. q bigger. 

* leopard. 

b ramp, [cry aloud, bellow. RITSON.] 

c roar. d drew. 

e yet f loathly. 

B club. h head. 

1 horse or ox. k hung. 

l hair. ni more. 

n broader. ears. 

nose s bushes. l bunch, 

lack. w to. 

wondrous dress, 
churl. z went in. 

neither. b wool, 

linen. d asked. e as. 

supposed, apprehended, 
had no understanding. 


To him I spak ful hardily, 

And said, What ertow h , belamy* ? 

He said ogain, I am a man. 

I said, Swilk k saw I never nane . 

What ertow m ? al sone n said he. 

I said, Swilk als thou her may se. 

I said, What dose? thou here allane^? 

He said, I kepe thir r bestes ilkane 8 . 

I said, That es mervaile, think me, 

For I herd never of man bot the, 

In wildernes, ne in forestes, 

That kepeing had of wilde bestes, 

Bot* thai war bunden faste in halde u . 

He sayd, Of thir w es none so balde, 

Nowther by day ne by night, 

Anes x to pas out of mi sight. 

I sayd, How so ? tell me thi scill. 

Per fay, he said, gladly I will. 

He said, In al this fair foreste 

Es thar non so wilde beste, 

That reniny dar z , bot stil stand a 

Whan I am to him cumand b ; 

And ay when that I will him fang c 

With my fingers that er strang d , 

I ger e him cri on swilk manere, 

That al the bestes when thai him here, 

Obout me than cum thai all, 

And to mi fete fast thai fall 

On thair maner, merci to cry. 

Bot understand now redyli, 

Olyve f ess thar lifand h no ma 1 , 

Bot I, that durst omang them ga k , 

That he ne sold sone be al torent 1 ; 

Bot thai er at my comandment, 

To me thai cum whan I tham call, 

And I am maister of tham all. 

Than he asked onone right, 

What man I was ? I said, A knyght, 

That soght aventurs in that lande, 

My body to assai m and fande" ; 

h art thou. ! my friend. z there, [dare.] a stand still. 

k such. l none. m art thou. b coming. c take. d are strong. 

n also, [very soon.] as. e cause . f a n ve . e j St 

p dost. q alone. r these. h living. s man. k go. 

s every one. * except. " hold. all rent to pieces. 

w these. x once. m exercise. 

y runs, [running.] n fend, defend, [try.] 


And I the pray of thi kownsayle 

Thou teche me to sum mervayle . 

He said, I can no wonders tell, 

Bot her bisyde es a Well ; 

Wend thederi 1 , and do als I say, 

Thou passes noght al quite oway, 

Folow forth this ilk strete^, 

And sone sum mervayles sal thou mete : 

The well es under the fairest Tre, 

That ever was in this cuntre ; 

By that Well hinges 1 " a Bacyne 8 

That es of golde gude and fyne, 

With a cheyne, trewly to tell, 

That % wil reche in to the Well. 

Thares es a Chapel ner thar by, 

That nobil es and ful lufely * : 

By the well standes a Stane u 

Tak the bacyn sone onane w , 

And cast on water with thi hand, 

And sone thou sal se new tithand * : 

A storme sal rise and a tempest, 

Al obout, by est and west, 

Thou sal here? mani thonor z blast 

Al obout the a te blawand b fast, 

And there sal cum sek c slete and rayne 

That unnese d sal you stand ogayne : 

Of lightnes 6 sal you se a lowe, 

Unnethes you sal thi selven f knowe ; 

And if thou pas withowten grevance, 

Than has thou the fairest chance 

That ever yit had any knyght, 

That theder come to kyth& his myght. 

Than toke I leve, and went my way, 

And rade unto the midday ; 

By than I com whare I sold be, 

I saw the Chapel and the Tre : 

Thare I fand the fayrest thorne 

That ever groued sen God h was born : 

tell me of some wonder. So Alex- p go thither. q way, road, 

ander in the deserts of India, meets two r hangs. s a helmet, or bason. 

old cheorlis, or churls, from whom he * lovely. u stone, 

desires to learn, w perhaps, in hand, [anon. RITSON.] 

Any merveilles by this wayes, * tidings, wonders. y hear. 

That y myzte do in story, z thunder. a thee. b blowing. 

That men ban in memorie. c such. d scarcely. 

They tell him, that a little farther he ! % htnin S- f self ' 

will see the Trees of the Sun and Moon, I ^' P rove> 
&c. Geste of Alexander, MS. p. 231. 




So thik it was with leves grene 

Might no rayn cum thar bytwene 1 ; 

And that grenes k lastes ay, 

For no winter dere 1 yt may. 

I fand the Bacyn, als he talde, 

And the Well with water kalde m . 

An amerawd" was the Stane , 

Richer saw I never nane, 

On fowr rubyes on heght standandP, 

Thair light lasted over al the land. 

And whan I saw that semely syght, 

It made me bath joyful and lyght. 

I toke the Bacyn sone onane 

And helt water opon the Stane : 

The weder^ wex than wonder blak, 

And the thoner 1 ' fast gan crak ; 

Thar come slike 8 stormes of hayl and rayn, 

Unnethes 1 1 might stand thareogayn : 

The store" windes blew ful lowd, 

So kene come never are w of clowd. 

I was drevyn with snaw and slete, 

Unnethes I might stand on my fete. 

In my face the levelling x smate^, 

I wend have brent 2 , so was it hate a : 

That weder made me so will of rede, 

I hopid b sone to have my dede c ; 

And sertes d , if it lang had last, 

I hope I had never thethin 6 past. 

Bot thorgh his might that tholed f wownd 

The storme sesed within a stownde* : 

Then wex the weder fayr ogayne, 

And tharof was I wonder fayne ; 

For best comforth of al thing 

Es solace after mislykeing. 

Than saw I sone a merry syght, 

Of al the fowles that er in flyght, 

Lighted so thik opon that tre, 

That bogh ne lefe none might I se ; 

' there between. k verdure. 

1 hurt. m cold. 

" emerald. stone. 

p standing high. 

q weather. 

r thunder. 

s such. 

1 hardly. u strong. 

w air, [before. RITSON.] 

* lightning. y smote. 

z I thought I should be burnt. 
a it was so hot. 

b feared. See Johns, and Steev. Shak- 
speare, vol. v. p. 273. edit. 1779. 
c death. 
d surely. 
e thence. 
f suffered. 
g ceased on a sudden, (after a time.) 


So merily than gon thai sing, 
That al the wode bigan to ring ; 
Ful mery was the melody 
Of thaire sang and of thaire cry ; 
Thar herd never man none swilk, 
Bot h if ani had herd that ilk. 
And when that mery dyn was done, 
Another hoyse than herd I sone, 
Als it war of horsmen, 
Mo than owther 1 nyen k or ten. 
Sone than saw I cum a knyght, 
In riche armurs was he dight ; 
And sone when I gan on him loke, 
My shelde and sper to me I toke. 
That knight to me hied ful fast, 
And kene wordes out gan he cast : 
He batf that I sold tell him tite 1 
Whi I did him swilk despite, 
With weders wakend him of rest, 
And done him wrang in his Forest ; 
Thar fore, he sayd, Thou sal aby n : 
And with that come he egerly, 
And said, I had ogayn resowne 
Done him grete destrucciowne, 
And might it nevermore amend ; 
Tharfor he bad, I sold me fend : 
And sone I smate him on the shelde, 
Mi schaft brae out in the felde ; 
And then he bar me sone bi strenkith 
Out of my sadel my speres lenkith : 
I wate that he was largely 
By the shuldres mare? than I; 
And by the ded^ that I sal thole r , 
Mi stede by his was bot a fole. 
For mate 8 1 lay down on the grownde, 
So was I stonayd* in that stownde : 
A worde to me wald he noght say, 
Bot toke my stede, and went his way. 
Ffull sarily" than thare I sat, 
For wa w I wist noght what was what : 
With mi stede he went in hy, 
The same way that he come by ; 

h unless. ' either. k nine. r suffer. 

soon. m the storm. * sleep. [He lay as if he had been dead. 

n abide, stay, [suffer. RITSON.] RITSON.] 
against reason or law. * astonished, stunned. 

greater. q death. u sorrily. w woe. 




And I durst folow him no ferr 
For dout me solde bite werr, 
And also yit by Goddes dome x , 
I ne wist war he bycome. 
Than I thoght how I had bight* 
Unto myne oste the hende knyght, 
And also til his lady bryght, 
To come ogayn if that I myght. 
Mine armurs left I thare ylkane, 
For els myght I noght have gane z ; 
Unto myne in a I come by day : 
The hende knyght and the fayre may, 
Of my come war thai full glade, 
And nobil semblant thai me made ; 
In al thinges thai have tham born 
Als thai did the night biforn. 
Sone thai wist whar I had bene, 
And said, that thai had never sene 
Knyght that ever theder come 
Take the way ogayn home. 

I add Sir Ywain's achievement of the same adventure, with its con- 

When Ywayn was withowten town, 
Of his palfray lighted he down, 
And dight him right wele in his wede, 
And lepe up on his gude stede. 
Furth he rade on one right, 
Until it neghed nere b the nyght : 
He passed many high mowntayne 
In wildernes, and mony a playne, 
Til he come to that lethir c sty d 
That him byhoved pass by : 
Than was he seker for to se 
The Wei, and the fayre Tre ; 
The Chapel saw he at the last, 
And theder 6 hyed he ful fast. 

God's sentence, the crucifixion, 

hette, promised. z gone. 


drew near. 

wicked, bad. [dangerous. RITSON. 

that is, the forest, [place. RITSON. 
But I do not precisely know the meaning 
of sty. It is thus used in the Lay of Emare. 
[where it means a road or way, from the 
Saxon stig. RITSON.] MSS. Cott. Calig. 
A. 2. fol. 59. 

Messengeres forth he sent 
Aftyr the mayde fayre and gent 
That was hryght as someres day : 
Messengeres dyghte hem in hye, 
With myche myrthe and melodye 
Forth gon they fare 
Both by stretes and by STYE 
Aftyr that fayr lady. 

And again in the same romance. 
e that way. 




More curtaysli and more honowr 
Fand f he with tham in that towr&, 
And mar conforth by mony falde h , 
Than Colgrevance had him of talde. 
That night was he herberd 1 thar, 
So wel was he never are k . 
At morn he went forth by the strete, 
And with the cherel 1 sone gan he mete 
That sold tel to him the way ; 
He sayned m him, the sothe to say, 
Twenty sith n , or ever he blan, 
Swilk mervayle had he of that man, 
For he had wonder?, that nature 
Myght mak so foul a creature. 
Than to the Wel he rade glide pase, 
And down he lighted in that place ; 
And sone the bacyn has he tane, 
And kest^ water opon the Stane ; 
And sone thar wex, withowten fayle, 
Wind and thonor, and rayn and haile : 
When it was sesed, than saw he 
The fowles light opon the tre, 
Thai sang ful fayre opon that thorn 
Right als thai had done byforn. 
And sone he saw cumand r a knight, 
Als fast so the fowl in flyght, 
With rude sembland 3 , and sterne chere, 
And hastily he neghed nere ; 
To speke of luf * na time was thar, 
For aither hated uther ful sar*. 
Togeder smertly gan thai drive, 
Thair sheldes sone bigan to ryve, 
Thair shaftes cheverd" to thair hand 
Bot thai war bath ful wele syttand w . 
Out thai drogh x thair swerdes kene, 
And delt strakes tham bytwene ; 
Al to pieces thai hewed thair sheldes, 
The culpons? flegh 2 out in the feldes. 
On helmes strake thay so with yre, 
At ilka strake out-brast the fyr ; 

f found. 

B i. e. the castle. h manifold. 

* lodged. k ever, [before. RITSON.] 

1 churl, i. e. the wild-man. 

m viewed, [crossed himself. RITSON.] 

n times. ceased. 

he wondered. q cast, 

coming. s countenance, 

friendly offices. * sore, 

shivered. w seated, 

drew. y pieces, 



Aither of tham gude buffettes bede a , 

And nowther wald styr of the stede. 

Ful kenely thai kyd b thair myght, 

And feyned tham noght for to fyght : 

Thair hauberkes that men myght ken 

The blode out of thair bodyes ren. 

Aither on other laid so fast, 

The batayl might noght lang last : 

Hauberkes er c broken, and helmes reven, 

Stif strakes war thar gyfen ; 

Thai foght on hors stifly always, 

The batel was wele mor to prays ; 

Bot at the last syr Ywayne 

On his felow kyd his mayne, 

So egerly he smate him than, 

He clefe the helme and the hern pan d : 

The knyght wist he was nere ded, 

To fle than was his best rede 6 ; 

And fast he fled with al his mayne, 

And fast folow syr Ywayne, 

Bot he ne might him overtake, 

Tharfore grete murning gan he make : 

He folowd him ful stowtlyk f , 

And wald have tane him ded or quik ; 

He folowd him to the cete^, 

Na man lyfand h met he. 

When thai come to the kastel yate, 

In he folowd fast tharate : 

At aither entre was, I wys, 

Straytly wroght a port culis, 

Shod wele with yren and stele, 

And also grunden* wonder wele : 

Under that then was a swyke k 

That made syr Ywain to myslike, - 

a abided, [offered.] constructed for a similar purpose, though 

b showed. c are. apparently not of equal ingenuity. 

- So in Minot's Poems. MSS. Cott. 

Gale, E. ix. ut supr. Coryen ^ JJWJ^ queyntl / kt j - 

And sum lay knoked out their hernes. Though thou and thy folke were in ye 

counsel. * stoutly. And mete 

city. * no man living. gcholde feUen 

Mr, Ritson, who ex- 

Therefore beware and take good keep, 


. , ,. Many on has had ful evyl happe. 

Saxon sich, fossa. In the romance ot ^ 

Richard Coeur de Lion, we have the same 

expression applied to a piece of machinery, The only words to be found in Lye's Saxon 


His hors fote toched thare on ; 
Than fel the port culis onone 1 , 
Bytwyx him and his hinder arsown, 
Thorgh sadel and stede it smate al down, 
His spores 1 " of his heles it schare" : 
Than had Ywayne murnyng mareP, 
But so he wend have passed quite % 
That fel the tother r bifor al yte. 
A faire grace yit fel him swa s , 
Al if it smate his hors in twa fc , 
And his spors of aither hele, 
That himself passed so wele. 

While sir Ywaine remains in this perilous confinement, a lady looks 
out of a wicket which opened in the wall of the gateway, and releases 
him. She gives him her ring. 

I sal lene the her mi Ring ", 
Bot yelde it me at myne askyng : 
When thou ert broght of al thi payn 
Yelde w it than to me ogayne : 
Als the bark hilles x the tre, 
Right so sal my Ring do the ; 
When thou in hand has the stane v , 
Der z sal thai do the nane, 
For the stane es of swilk might, 
Of the sal men have na syght a . 
Wit ye b wel that sir Ywayne 
Of thir wordes was ful fayne c ; 

Dictionary, to which ' swyke ' might be misinterpreted this word in his Glossary, 

referred, are swican, decipere ; swica, pro- The same anonymous writer quoted above 

ditor ; and beswica, fraus. But in Alfred's has observed, " Partially regarding the 

translation of Orosius we have ' ealle the context rather than the etymon, Ritson 

cyningas mid his swice of shoh : ' which explains hilles 'protects, preserves;' al- 

Mr. Harrington renders, ' slew all the though an attentive perusal of the whole 

kings by his deceitful arts.' " ANON.] passage might have suggested that the 

1 Traps of this kind are not uncommon virtue of this magic stone consisted in 

in romance. Thus sir Lancelot, walking covering or concealing its wearer from the 

round the chambers of a strange castle, sight, as the bark covers or conceals the 

treads on a board which throws him into tree. Lye gives us hilan, to hill, tegere. 

a cave twelve fathoms deep. Mort. Arth. From the same root is to be deduced the 

B. xix. ch. vii. word ' hyllynges' occurring in the Squyr 

m spurs. n cut. of Lowe Degre (left unexplained by Rit- 

mourning. p more. son), and which must mean an upper co- 
q but even so he thought to have passed vering for a bed, something similar to a 

forward, through. counterpane." 

1 the other portcullis Your %%? ^ ^ furres of ^^ 

u ;: . , . Powdred with golde of hew full fyne 

ture nng ^ m ~ Your blanket &C.-V. 839. PRICE.] 

w yield. v stone. z harm. 

x covers. [Mr. Ritson, who disdained a no man will see you. b know ye. 

to follow Warton even when correct, has c glad. 


In at the dore sho hem led, 
And did him sit opon hir bed, 
A quylt ful nobil lay tharon, 
Richer saw he never none, &c. 

Here he is secreted. In the mean time, the Lord of the castle dies 
of his wounds, and is magnificently buried. But before the interment, 
the people of the castle search for sir Ywayne. 

Half his stede thar fand thai d 

That within the yates e lay ; 

Bot the knight thar fand thai noght : 

Than was thar mekil sorow unsoght, 

Dore ne window was thar nane, 

Whar he myght oway gane. 

Thai said he sold thare be laft f , 

Or else he cowth of weche craft %, 

Or he cowth of nygromancy, 

Or he had wenges for to fly. 

Hastily than went thai all 

And soght him in the maydens hall, 

In chambers high es noght at hide, 

And in solers h on ilka side. 

Sir Ywaine saw ful wele al that, 

And still opon the bed he sat : 

Thar was nane that anes mynt 

Unto the bed at smyte 1 a dynt k : 

Al obout thai smate so fast, 

That mani of thair wapins brast ; 

Mekyl sorow thai made ilkane, 

For thai ne myght wreke thair lord bane. 

Thai went oway with dreri chere, 

And sone tharefter come the Ber 1 ; 

A lady folowd white so mylk, 

In al that lond was none swilk : 

Sho wrang her fingers, outbrast the blode, 

For mekyl wa m sho was nere wode n ; 

Hir fayr har scho alto drogh , 

And ful oft fel sho down in swogh P ; 

Sho wepe with a ful dreri voice. 

The hali water, and the croyce, 

d they found. ' bier. m great grief. n mad. 

e gates. f he still was there. drew. So in the Lay of the Erie of 

8 understood witchcraft. Tholouse. MSS. Mus. Ashmol. 45. 

high chambers. The erle h lfe an axe DROGH 

^ i. e. on account of the ring. A hundre / men that day he sl h< 
* never once minded, or thought, to 

strike at the bed, not seeing him there. p swoon. 


Was born bifore the procession ; 
Thar folowd mani a moder son, 
Bifore the cors rade a knyght 
On his stede that was ful wight <*; 
In his aramrs wele arayd, 
With sper and target gudely grayd. 
Than sir Ywayn herd the cry 
And the dole of that fayr lady, &c. 

Sir Ywayne desires the damsel's permission to look at the lady of the 
deceased knight through a window. He falls in love with her. She 
passes her time in praying for his soul. 

Unto his saul was sho ful hulde r : 

Opon a sawter al of guide 3 , 

To say the sal-mas 1 fast sho bigan. 

The damsel", whose name is Lunet, promises sir Ywaine an inter- 
view with the Lady. She uses many arguments to the Lady, and with 
much art, to show the necessity of her marrying again, for the defence 
of her castle. 

The maiden redies hyr ful rath vv , 
Bilive sho gert syr Ywaine bath x , 
And cled hym sethin in gude scarlet, 
Forord y wele, and with gold fret 2 ; 

* swift. Of tong scho was trew and renable 6 , 

r bound, obligated, [faithful.] And of her semblant 7 soft and stabile; 

8 psaltery, a harp, of gold. [Psalter. Ful fain I wald 8 , if that I might, 

RITSON.] Have woned 9 with that swete wight. 

* soul mass, the mass of requiem. In Morte Arthur, Sir Launcelot going 
u There is a damsel of this name in into a nunnery is unarmed in the abbess's 

Morte Arthur, B. vii. ch. xvi. chamber. B. xiii. ch. i. In Morte Arthur, 

w early, soon. sir Galahad is disarmed, and clothed " in 

* made him bathe immediately. a cote of red sendall and a mantel} furred 
y furrured, furred. with fyne ERMYNES," &c. B. xiii. ch. i. 

* In another part of this romance, a In the British Lay, or romance, of Laun- 
knight is dressed by a lady. val (MSS. Cott. Vespas. B. 14. i.) we have, 

A damisel come unto me Un cher mantel de BLANCHE ERMINE, 

Lufsumer lifed 1 never in land ; Couvert de purpre Alexandrine. 
Hendly scho 2 toke me by the hand, 

And sone that gentyl creature There is a statute, made in 1337, prohi- 

Al unlaced myne armure ; biting any under 100/. per annum to wear 

Into a chamber sho me led, fur. I suppose the richest fur was ermine ; 

And with a mantil scho me cled, which, before the manufactures of gold 

It was of purpur fair and fine, and silver, was the greatest article of finery 

And the pane 3 of riche ermine ; in dress. But it continued in use long af- 

Al the folk war went us fra 4 , terwards, as appears by ancient portraits. 

And thare was none than bot we twa 5 ; In the Statutes of Cardinal Wolsey's Col- 

Scho served me hendely to hend, lege at Oxford, given in the year 1525, 

Her maners might no man amend, the students are enjoined, " Ne magis pre- 

1 lovelier lived. 2 courteously she. 3 border. 4 from. 

5 two. 6 reasonable. 7 look. s would. a lodged. 




A girdel ful riche for the nanes, 
Of perry and of preciows stanes. 
Sho talde him al how he sold do 
Whan that he come the lady to. 

He is conducted to her chamber. 

Bot yit sir Ywayne had grete drede, 
When he unto chamber yede ; 
The chamber, flore, and als the bed, 
With klothes of gold was al over spred a . 

tiosis aut sumptuosis utantur PELLIBUS." 
De Vestitu, &c. fol. 49. MSS. Colt. Tit. 
F. iii. This injunction is a proof that rich 
furs were at that time a luxury of the se- 
cular life. In an old poem written in the 
reign of Henry the Sixth, about 1436, en- 
titled the English Policie, exhorting all 
England to keepe the sea, a curious and 
valuable record of the state of our traffic 
and mercantile navigation at that period, 
it appears that our trade with Ireland, for 
furs only, was then very considerable. 
Speaking of Ireland, the writer says, 

Martens goode been her marchandie, 
Hertes hides, and other of venerie, 
Skinnes of otter, squirrell, and Irish hare ; 
Of sheepe, lambe, and foxe, is her chaffare. 

See Hacklvyt's Voiages, vol. i. p. 199. edit. 

At the sacking of a town in Normandy, 
Froissart says, " There was founde so 
rnoche rychesse, that the boyes and vyl- 
laynes of the hooste sette nothynge by 
goode FURRED gownes." Berner's Transl. 
torn. i. fol. Ix. a. 

a In the manners of romance, it was not 
any indelicacy for a lady to pay amorous 
courtship to a knight. Thus in Davie's 
Geste of Alexander, written in 1312, queen 
Candace openly endeavours to win Alex- 
ander to her love. MS. penes me, p. 271. 
[Cod. Hospit. Line. 150.] She shews 
Alexander, not only her palace, but her 

Quoth the quene, 

Go we now myn esteris to seone 1 : 

Oure mete schol, thar bytweone 2 , 

Ygraithed 3 and redy beone 4 , 

Scheo 5 ladde him to an halle of nobleys, 

Then he dude of his harneys 6 : 

Of Troye was ther men? the storye 8 

How Gregoys 9 had the victorye: 

Theo bemes ther weore 10 of bras. 

Theo wyndowes weoren of riche glass 11 : 

Theo pinnes' 2 weore of ivorye. 

The king went with the ladye, 

Himself alone, from bour to bour, 

And syze 13 muche riche tresour, 

Gold and seolver, and preciouse stones, 

Baudekyns 14 made for the nones 15 , 

Mantellis, robes, and pavelounes 16 , 

Of golde and seolver riche foysounes 17 ; 

And heo 18 him asked, par amour, 

Zef he syze ever suche a tresour. 

And he said, in his contray 

Tresour he wiste 19 of grete noblay. 

Heo 20 thozte more that heo saide. 

To anothir stude 21 sheo he gan him lede, 

That hir owne chambre was, 

In al this world richer none nas. 

Theo atyr 22 was therein so riche 

In al thys world nys him non lyche 23 . 

Heo ladde him to a stage, 

And him schewed one ymage, 

And saide, Alexander leif thou me 24 , 

This ymage is made after the 25 ; 

Y dude hit in ymagoure 2(5 , 

And caste hit after thy vigoure 8 ': 

This othir zeir, tho thou nolde 28 

To me come for love ne for golde, 

Het is the ylyche 29 , leove brother 3, 

So any faucon 31 is anothir. 

O Alisaunder, of grete renoun, 

Thou taken art in my prisoun ! 

1 to see my apartments. 2 our dinner shall, meanwhile. 

3 prepared. 4 be. 5 she. * put off his armour. 1 for 

ther men, read therein, as MS. Laud. I. 74. Bibl. Bodl. 8 the story of 

Troy was in the tapestry, or painted on the walls of the hall. 9 Greeks. 

10 The rafters were. " painted glass. 12 of the windows. 

13 saw. 14 rich clothes. 15 that is, for the occasion : so the paint- 

ing or tapestry, before mentioned, representing the Greeks victorious, was in com- 
pliment to Alexander. 16 pavilions. J 7 stores. l8 she. 
19 knew. 2 she. 21 stede. lodging. 22 the furniture. 
23 none like it. 24 believe, 2S thee. 26 imagery. 27 figure. 
28 wouldest not. 29 like. 3 dear brother, or friend. 31 as one 





After this interview, she is reconciled to him, as he only in self-defence 
had slain her husband, and she promises him marriage. 

Than hastily she went to Hall, 
Thar abade hir barons all, 
For to hald thair parlement b , 
And mari c hir by thair asent. 

They agree to the marriage. 

Than the lady went ogayne 
Unto chameber to sir Ywaine ; 
Sir, sho said, so God me save, 
Other lorde wil I nane have : 
If I the left d I did noght right, 
A king son, and a noble knyght. 
Now has the maiden done hir thoght*> 
Syr Ywayne out of anger broght. 
The Lady led him unto Hall, 
Ogains f him rase the barons all, 
And al thai said ful sekerly, 
This Knight sal wed the Lady : 
And ilkane said thamself bitwene^, 
So fair a man had thai noght sene, 
For his bewte in hal and bowr : 
Him semes to be an emperowr. 
We wald that thai war trowth plight, 
And weded sone this ilk nyght. 
The lady set hir on the dese h , 
And cumand al to hald thaire pese 1 ' ; 
And bad hir steward sumwhat say, 
Or k men went fra cowrt away. 
The steward said, Sirs, understandes, 
Wer 1 is waxen m in thir landes; 

Al thy streynthe helpethe the nowzt, 
For womman the haveth bycowzt 32 
For womman the heveth in hire las 33 . 
O, quoth Alisaunder, alas, 
That I were yarmed 34 wel, 
And hed my sweord of browne stel, 
Many an heid wolde y cleove, 
Ar y wolde yn prison bileve 85 . 
Alysaunder, heo saide, thou saist soth, 
Beo noither adrad no wroth 36 ; 
For here, undir this covertour, 
Y wil have the to myn amour, &c. 
b assembly, consultation. 

" marry. d was I not to marry you. 

e intention. f against, before. 

B among themselves. 

h deis, the high-table. In the Geste of 
Alexander we have the phrase of holding 
the deis, MS. ut supr. p. 45. 

There was gynning a new feste, 
And of gleomen many a geste, 
King Philip was in mal ese, 
Alisaundre HELD THE DESE. 

' peace. 

1 grown. 

falcon. In MSS. Laud, I. 174. ut supr. it is peny, for falcon. 2 catched. 

83 her lace. 34 Here, y is the Saxon i. See Hearne's GI. Rob. Glouc. p. 738. 

36 be left, stay, even. 36 neither affrighted nor angry. 


The king Arthur es redy dight 
To be her byn this fowre-tenyght : 
He and his menye n ha thoght 
To win this land if thai moght : 
Thai wate ful wele, that he es ded 
That was lord here in this stedeP : 
None es so wight wapins to welde**, 
Ne that so boldly mai us belde, 
And wemen may maintene no stowr r , 
Thai most nedes have a governowr : 
Tharfor mi lady most nede 
Be weded hastily for drede s , 
And to na lord wil sho take tent fc , 
Bot if it be by yowr assent. 
Than the lordes al on raw 11 
Held them wele payd of this saw w . 
Al assented hyr untill* 
To tak a lord at hyr owyn will. 
Than said the lady onone right, 
How hald ye yow payd of this knight? 
He prefers hym on al wyse 
To myne honor and my servyse, 
And sertes, sirs, the soth to say, 
I saw him never, or this day ; 
Bot talde unto me has it bene 
He es the kyng son Uriene : 
He es cumen of hegh parage v , 
And wonder doghty of vasselage 1 , 
War and wise, and ful curtayse, 
He yernes a me to wife alwayse; 
And nere the lese, I wate, he might 
Have wele better, and so war right. 
With a voice halely b thai sayd, 
Madame, ful wele we hald us payd : 
Bot hastes fast al that ye may, 
That ye war wedded this ilk day : 

n knights. In Afrik were thai compast and wrought 

know. p mansion, castle. Geantz TILLE Ireland from thitheu tham 
q active to wield weapons. brought. 

* Mention That is ' " Giants brou S h t them from Africa 
11 on a row* * nto Ireland -" 

* opinion, word. It is of extensive sig- \ kin ?5f S in the Geste of Alex " 
nification, Emare, MS. ut supr. ander > MS ' P- 258 ' 

They wer men of gret paraere, 

1 have herd mmstrelles syng in SAW. And haden fowrty wyn r ter m age< 

* unto. So Rob. Brunne, of Stone- r courage. 

henge, edit. Hearne, p. cxci. a eagerly wishes. b wholly. 




And grete prayer gan thai make 
On alwise, that sho suld hym take. 
Sone unto the kirk thai went, 
And war wedded in thair present ; 
Thar wedded Ywaine in plevyne c 
The riche lady ALUNDYNE, 
The dukes doghter of Landuit, 
Els had hyr lande bene destruyt. 
Thus thai made the maryage 
Omang al the riche barnage d : 
Thai made ful mekyl mirth that day, 
Ful grete festes on gude aray ; 
Grete mirthes made thai in that stede, 
And al forgetyn es now the dede e 
Of him that was thair lord fre ; 
Thai say that this es worth swilk thre. 
And that thai lufed him mekil mor 
Than him that lord was thare byfor. 
The bridal f sat, for soth to tell, 
Til king Arthur come to the well 

c Fr. Plevine. See Du Fresne. PLE- 


d baronage. e death. 

{ Bridal is Saxon for the nuptial feast. 
So in Davie's Geste of Alexander. MS. 
fol. 41. penes me, 

He wist nouzt of this BRIDALE, 
Ne no man tolde him the tale. 

In Gamelyn, or the Coke's Tale, v. 1267. 
At every BRIDALE he would sing and hop. 
Spenser, Faerie Q,u. B. v. C. ii. st. 3. 

Where and when the BRIDALE cheare 

Should be solemnised. 

And, vi. x. 13. 

Theseus her unto his BRIDALE bore. 

See also Spenser's Prothalamion. 

The word has been applied adjectively, 
for CONNUBIAL. Perhaps Milton remem- 
bered or retained its original use in the 
following passage of Sarnson Agonistes, 
ver. 1196. 

And in your city held my nuptial feast : 
But your ill-meaning politician lords, 
Under pretence of BRIDAL friends and 

Appointed to await me thirty spies. 

" Under pretence of friends and guests in- 
vited to the BRIDAL." But in Paradise 
Lost, he speaks of the evening star hasten- 
ing to light the BRIDAL LAMP, which in 

another part of the same poem he calls 
the NUPTIAL TORCH, viii. 520. xi. 590. 
I presume this Saxon BRIDALE is Bride- 
Ale, the FEAST in honour of the bride or 
marriage. ALE, simply put, is the feast 
or the merry-making, as in Pierce Plow- 
man, fol. xxxii. b. edit. 1550. 4to. 

And then satten some and songe at the 
ALE [nale]. 

Again, fol. xxvi. b. 

I am occupied everie daye, holye daye 
and other, 

With idle tales at the ALE, and other- 
while in churches. 

So Chaucer of his Freere, Urr. p. 87. v.85. 

And they were only glad to fill his purse, 
And maden him grete festis at the NALE. 

Nale is ALE. " They feasted him, or en- 
tertained him, with particular respect, at 
the parish-feast," &c. Again, Plowman's 
Tale, p. 125. v. 2110. 

At the Wrestling, and at the Wake, 
And the chief chaunters at the NALE. 

See more instances, supr. vol. i. p. 56. That 
ALE is festival, appears from its sense in 
composition ; as, among others, in the 
words Leet-ale, Lamb-ale, Whitson-ale, 
Clerk-ale, and Church-ale. LEET-ALE, 
in some parts of England, signifies the 
dinner at a court-leet of a manor for the 




With al his knyghtes everilkane, 

Behind leved thar noght ane g . 

The king kest water on the stane, 
The storme rase ful sone onane 
With wikked h weders, kene and calde, 
Als it was byfore-hand talde. 
The king and his men ilkane 
Wend tharwith to have bene slane, 
So blew it stor 1 with slete and rayne: 
And hastily than syr Ywayne k 
Dight him graythly 1 in his gere, 
With nobil shelde, and strong spere : 

jury and customary tenants. LAMB-ALE 
is still used at the village of Kirtlington in 
Oxfordshire, for an annual feast or cele- 
brity at lamb-shearing. WHITSON-ALE 
is the common name in the midland coun- 
ties for the rural sports and feasting at 
Whitsontide. CLERK-ALE occurs in Au- 
brey's manuscript History of Wiltshire: 
"In the Easter holidays was the CLARKES- 
ALE, for his private benefit and the solace 
of the neighbourhood." MSS. Mus. Ashm. 
Oxon. CHURCH-ALE was a feast esta- 
blished for the repair of the church, or in 
honour of the church-saint, &c. In Dods- 
worth's Manuscripts, there is an old in- 
denture, made before the Reformation, 
which not only shows the design of the 
Church-ale, but explains this particular 
use and application of the word Ale. The 
parishioners of Elveston and Okebrook, in 
Derbyshire, agree jointly, "to brew four 
ALES, and every ALE of one quarter of 
malt, betwixt this and the feast of saint 
John Baptist next coming. And that 
every inhabitant of the said town of Oke- 
brook shall be at the several ALES. And 
every husband and his wife shall pay two 
pence, every cottager one penny, and all 
the inhabitants of Elveston shall have and 
receive all the profits and advantages co- 
ming of the said ALES, to the use and be- 
hoof of the said church of Elveston. And 
the inhabitants of Elveston shall brew 
eight ALES betwixt this and the feast of 
saint John Baptist, at the which ALES 
the inhabitants of Okebrook shall come 
and pay as before rehersed. And if he 
be away at one ALE, to pay at the toder 
ALE for both," &c. MSS. Bibl. Bodl. vol. 
148. f. 97. See also our Church-Canons, 
given in 1603. Can. 88. The application of 
what is here collected to the word BRI* 

DALE, is obvious. But Mr. Astle has a cu- 
rious record, about 1575, which proves the 
BRIDE-ALE synonymous with the WED- 
DYN-ALE. During the course of queen 
Elizabeth's entertainments at Kenilworth- 
castle, in 1575, a BRYDE-ALE was cele- 
brated with a great variety of shows and 
sports. Laneham's Letter, dated the same 
year. fol. xxvi. seq. What was the nature 
of the merriment of the CHURCH- ALE, we 
learn from theWiTCHES-soNG in Jonson's 
Masque of Queens at Whitehall in 1609, 
where one of the Witches boasts to have 
killed and stole the fat of an infant, begot- 
ten by a piper at a CHURCH-ALE. S. 6. 

Among bishop Tanner's manuscript ad- 
ditions to Cowell's Law-Glossary in the 
Bodleian library, is the following Note, 
from his own Collections. [Lit.V.] "A.D. 
1468. Prior Cant, et Commissarii visita- 
tionem fecerunt (diocesi Cant, vacante per 
mortem archiepiscopi) et ibi publicatura 
erat, quod Potationes factse in ecclesiis, 
vulgariter dictse YEVEALYS*, vel BREDE- 
ALYS 2 , non essent ulterius in usu sub pcena 
excommunicationis majoris." 

Had the learned author of the Disser- 
tation on BARLEY WINE been as well ac- 
quainted with the British as the Grecian 
literature, this long note would perhaps 
have been unnecessary. 

E one. 

u wicked is here, accursed; in which 
sense it is used by Shakspeare's Caliban, 
Tempest, act i. sc. 2. 

As WICKED dew as e'er my mother brush'd 
With raven's feather, &c. 

1 strong. 

k to defend the fountain, the office of 
the lord of this castle. 
1 readily. 

give-ales, or gift-ales. 

2 bride-ales. 


When he was dight in seker wede, 
Than he umstrade m a nobil stede : 
Him thoght that he was als lyght 
Als a fowl es to the flyght. 
Unto the Well fast wendes he, 
And sone when thai myght him se, 
Syr Kay, for he wald noght fayle, 
Smertly askes the batayle. 
And alsone than said the kyng, 
Sir Kay, I grante the thine askyng. 

Sir Ywaine is victorious, who discovers himself to king Arthur after 
the battle. 

And sone sir Ywaine gan him tell 
Of al his far how it byfell, 
With the knight how that he sped, 
And how he had the Lady wed ; 
And how the Mayden him helpid wele : 
Thus tald he to him ilka dele. 
Sir kyng, he sayd, I yow byseke, 
And al yowr menye milde and meke, 
That ye wald grante to me that grace, 
At n wend with me to my purchace, 
And se my Kastel and my Towre, 
Than myght ye do me grete honowre. 
The kyng granted him ful right 
To dwel with him a fowretenyght. 
Sir Ywayne thanked him oft sith, 
The knyghtes war al glad and blyth, 
With sir Ywaine for to wend : 
And sone a squier has he send 
Unto the kastel, the way he nome, 
And warned the Lady of thair come, 
And that his Lord come with the kyng. 
And when the Lady herd this thing, 
It es no lifand man with mowth 
That half hir cumforth tel kowth. 
Hastily that Lady hende 
Cumand al hir men to wende, 
And dight tham in thair best aray, 
To kepe the king that ilk day : 
Thai keped* him in riche wede 
Rydeand on many a nobil stede ; 

m bestrode. n to. oft-times. * waited on. See Tyrwh. Gl. Ch. 


Thai hailsedP him ful curtaysly, 
And also al his cumpany : 
Thai said he was worthy to dowt% 
That so fele folk led obowt r : 
That was grete joy, I yow bihete 8 , 
With clothes spred* in ilka strete, 
And damysels danceand ful wele, 
With trompes, pipes, and with fristele : 
The Castel and the Cetee rang 
With mynstralsi and nobil sang. 
Thai ordand tham ilkane in fer 
To kepe the king on faire maner. 
The Lady went withouten towne, 
And with her many balde barowne, 
Cled in purpure and ermyne, 
With girdels al of gold ful fyne. 
The Lady made ful meri chere, 
Sho was al dight with drewries u dere ; 
Abowt hir was ful mekyl thrang, 
The puple cried and sayd omang, 
Welkum ertou, kyng Arthoure, 
Of al this werld thou beres the floure ! 
Lord kyng of all kynges, 
And blessed be he that the brynges ! 
W T hen the Lady the Kyng saw, 
Unto him fast gan sho draw, 
To hald his sterap whils he lyght; 
Bot sone when he of hir had syght, 
With mekyl myrth thai samen v met, 
With hende wordes sho him gret ; 
A thousand sithes welkum sho says, 
And so es syr Gawayne the curtayse. 
The king said, Lady white so flowr, 
God gif the joy and mekil honowr, 
For thou ert fayr with body gent : 
With that he hir in armes hent, 
And ful faire he gan hir falde w , 
Thar was many to bihalde : 
It es no man with tong may tell 
The mirth that was tham omell ; 

saluted. in one of Alexander's battles, many a lady 

to fear. lost her drewery. Geste Alexander, MS. 

so large a train of kniglits. p. 86. Athens is called the Drywery of 

promise you. the world, ibid, 
tapestry spread on the walls. v together, 

gallantries, jewels. Davie says, that w fold. 




Of maidens was thar so gude wane x , 
That ilka knight myght take ane. 

The king stays here eight days, entertained with various sports. 

And ilk day thai had solace sere 
Of huntyng, and als of revere ^: 
For thar was a ful fayre cuntre, 
With wodes and parkes grete plente ; 
And castels wroght with lyme and stane, 
That Ywayne with his wife had tane. z 

x assembly [a great many]. 

y hawking [tor herons, ducks, &c. 

z There are three old poems on the ex- 
ploits of Gawain, one of the heroes of this 
romance. There is a fourth in the Scotch 
dialect, by Clerke of Tranent, an old Scotch 
poet. See Lament for the Death of the 
Makkaris, st. xvii. 

Clerke of Tranent eke has [death] tane 
That made the Aventers of GAWANE. 

Anc. Scot. P. 1576. 

The two heroes of this romance, Ywain 
and Gawain, are mentioned jointly in a 
very old French version of the British or 
Armorican Lay of Launval, of which there 
is a beautiful vellum manuscript. MSS. 
Cott. Vespas. B. xiv. [supr. modo citat,] 

Ensemble od eus GAWAYNS, 
E sis cosins li beus YWAYNS. 

This Lay, or Song, like the romance 
in the text, is opened with a feast cele- 
brated at Whitsontide by king Arthur at 
Kardoyl, a French corruption from Car- 
liol, by which is meant Cairleon in Wales, 
sometimes in romances confounded with 
Cardiff. [See Geoffr. Monm. ix. 12.] 

"Jci commence le Lay de Launval." 
Laventure de un Lay, 
Cum ele avint vus cunteray, 
Fait fu dun gentil vassal, 
En Bretaigne lapelent Launval : 
A Kardoyl suiornont li reys 
Arthur, li prouz, e li curteys, 
Pur les Escot, e pur les Pis, 
Ki destrueient les pays ; 
En la terre de Logres 1 le trououent, 
Mult souent le damagouent: 

A la Pentecuste en este, 

I aveit li reys sojourne, 

A les i dona riches duns, 

E al cuntes 2 , e al baruns, 

A ceus de la Table Runde, &c. 

That is, " Here begins the Lay of Laun- 
val. [I will relate to you.] The Adven- 
ture of a certain Lay, made of a gentle 
vassal, whom in Bretaigne they called 
Launval. The brave and courteous king 
Arthur sojourned at Kardoyl, for making 
war against the Scots and Picts, who 
destroyed the country. He found them 
in the land of Logres, where they com- 
mitted frequent outrages. The king was 
there at the feast of Pentecost, where 
he gave rich gifts to the counts and ba- 
rons, and the knights of the round ta- 
ble," &c. 

The writing of this nnanuscript of Laun- 
val seems about 1300. The composition is 
undoubtedly much earlier. There is an- 
other, MSS. Harl. 978. 1 1 2. This I have 
cited in the First Dissertation. From this 
French Launval is translated, but with 
great additions, the English Launfall, of 
which I have given several extracts in the 
Third Dissertation prefixed to the first 
volume. [See also supr. vol. ii. p. 323, 
NOTE A.]' 

I presume this romance of Ywain and 
Gawayne is translated from a French one 
of the same title, and in the reign of Hen- 
ry the Sixth ; but not by Thomas Chestre, 
who translated, or rather paraphrased, 
Launval, or Sir Launfall, and who seems 
to have been master of a more copious and 
poetic style. It is not however unlikely, 
that Chestre translated from a more mo- 
dern French copy of Launval, heightened 

1 Logres, or Loegria, from Locrine, was the middle part of Britain. 

2 counts. So in Sir Robert of Gloucester, we have Contass for countess. On which 
word his editor Hearne observes, that king James the First used to call a Countess a 
cuntys; and he quotes one of James's letters, "Come and bring the three Cuntys [for 
countesses] with you." Gloss, p. 635. 




The Notbrowne Mayde. Not older than the sixteenth century. Artful 
contrivance of the story. Misrepresented by Prior. Metrical Ro- 
mances, Guy, syr Bevys, and Kynge Apoli/n, printed in the reign of 
Henry. The Scole howse, a Satire. Christmas Carols. Religious 
Libels in rhyme. Merlins PropJiecies. Laurence Minot. Occa- 
sional disquisition on the late continuance of the use of waxen tablets. 
Pageantries of Henry s Court. Daivn of Taste. 

I FEAR I shall be pronounced a heretic to modern criticism, in retract- 
ing what I have said in a preceding page, and in placing the NOTBROWNE 
MAYDE under some part of this reign*. Prior, who, about the year 
1718, paraphrased this poem, without improving its native beauties, 
supposes it to have been three hundred years old. It appears from 
two letters preserved in the British Museum, written by Prior to Wan- 
ley, lord Oxford's librarian, that Prior consulted Wanley about this 
ancient ballad*. It is, however, certain, that Wanley, an antiquarian 
of unquestionable skill and judgement in these niceties, whatever di- 
rections and information he might have imparted to Prior on this sub- 
ject, could never have communicated such a decision. He certainly in 
these letters gives no such opinion 5 . This is therefore the hasty con- 

and improved from the old simple Armo- 
rican tale of which I have here produced a 
short extract. [See supr. vol. ii. p. 306. 
note k .] [The original of [Ywaine and 
Gawin] is Le chevalier au Lion, by Chre- 
stien or Christian de Troyes, an eminent 
French poet who died in 1191; [and] 
the only ancient copy of the [English 
version] is contained in the Cotton MS. 
Galba, E. ix. which seems to have been 
written in the time of Richard II., or 
towards the close of the fourteenth cen- 
tury. RITSON.] The same perhaps may 
be said of the English metrical romance 
Emare, who marries the king of Galys, or 
Wales, originally an Armorican tale, be- 
fore quoted. MSS. Cott. Calig. A. 2. fol. 69. 
[See Diss. Ill, prefixed to the first volume,] 
[and Mr. Ritson's Metrical Romances, vol. 
ii. where it is printed. PRICE.] The last 
stanza confirms what has been advanced 
in the First Dissertation, concerning the 
connection between Cornwall and Bre- 
tagne, or.Armorica. fol. ult. 

A grette feste thar was holde 
Of erles and barons bolde, 

As testymonieth thys story : 
Thys is on of BRYTAYNE LAYES, 
That was used in olde dayes, 

Men callys playn the GARYE. 

I believe the last line means, " Made for an 
entertainment," " Which men call play- 
ing the GARYE." The reader may perhaps 
recollect, that the old Cornish Miracle in- 
terlude was called the Guary MiraJcil, that 
is, the Miracle Play, [See supr. vol. ii. 
p. 20. note c . In Cornish, Plan an guare 
is the level place, the plain of sport and 
pastime, the theatre of games, &c. Guare 
is a Cornish verb, to sport, to play. In 
affinity with which, is probably garish, 
gay, splendid. Milton, II Pens. v. 141. 
Day's garish eye. Shakspeare, Rom. and 
Jul. iii. 4. The garish sun. King Richard 
the Third, A garish flag. Compare Lye, 
Sax. Diet. v. jeajijiian. To dress fine. 

Who was the translator of Emare, is 
not known. I presume it was translated 
in the reign of Henry the Sixth, and very 
probably by Thomas Chestre, the transla- 
tor of Launval. 

* [i. e. the reign of Henry VIII., but 
Herbert says he possessed an edition 
which was printed about 1502, i. e. the 
18th year of Henry VII. PARK.] 

a MSS. Harl. 3777. 

b These letters are printed in the Ad- 
ditions to Pope's Works, in two volumes, 
published about two years ago. [Namely 
in 1776. This publication has been at- 


jecture of Prior, who thought that the curiosity which he was present- 
ing to the world would derive proportionable value from its antiquity, 
who was better employed than in the petty labour of ascertaining dates, 
and who knew much more of modern than ancient poetry. 

The NOT-BROWNE MAYDE first appeared in Arnolde's CHRONICLE, 
or CUSTOMS OF LONDON, which was first printed about the year 1521. 
This is perhaps the most heterogeneous and multifarious miscellany that 
ever existed. The collector sets out with a catalogue of the mayors 
and sheriffs, the customs and charters, of the city of London. Soon 
afterwards we have receipts to pickle sturgeon, to make vinegar, ink, 
and gunpowder ; how to raise parsley in an hour ; the arts of brewery 
and soap-making ; an estimate of the livings in London ; an account of 
the last visitation of saint Magnus's church ; the weight of Essex cheese, 
and a letter to cardinal Wolsey. The NOT-BROWNE MAYDE is intro- 
duced, between an estimate of some subsidies paid into the exchequer, 
and directions for buying goods in Flanders. In a word, it seems to 
have been this compiler's plan, by way of making up a volume, to print 
together all the notices and papers, whether ancient or modern, which 
he could amass, of every sort and subject. It is supposed, that he in- 
tended an antiquarian repertory : but as many recent materials were 
admitted, that idea was not at least uniformly observed ; nor can any 
argument be drawn from that supposition, that this poem existed long 
before, and was inserted as a piece of antiquity. 

The editor of the PROLUSIONS infers , from an identity of rhythmus 
and orthography, and an affinity of words and phrases, that this poem 
appeared after sir Thomas More's JEST OF THE SERJEANT AND FREER, 
which, as I have observed, was written about the year 1500. This rea- 
soning, were not other arguments obvious, would be inconclusive, and 
might be turned to the opposite side of the question. But it is evident 
from the language of the NOTBROWNE MAYDE, that it was not written 
earlier than the beginning, at least, of the sixteenth century *. There 
is hardly an obsolete word, or that requires a glossary, in the whole 
piece ; and many parts of Surrey and Wyat are much more difficult to 
be understood. Reduce any two stanzas to modern orthography, and 
they shall hardly wear the appearance of ancient poetry. The reader 
shall try the experiment on the two following, which occur acci- 
dentally d . 


Yet take good hede, for ever I drede 

That ye could nat sustayne, 
The thornie wayes, the depe valeis, 

The snowe, the frost, the rayne, 

tributed to the late George Steevens, Esq. ; c Prolusions, or Select Pieces of Ancient 

but I heard from Mr. Isaac Reed that it Poetry, Lond. 1760. 8vo. Pref. p. vii., 

was culled by Baldwin from the comma- [edited by E. Capell. PARK.] 

nications of Mr. Steevens in the St. James's * [But might it not be modernized to 

Chronicle, and put forth with a preface the style of 1500, in the edition of 1521? 

by William Cooke, Esq. PARK.] Herbert MS. Note. PARK.] A V. 168. 


The colde, the hete : for, dry or wete, 

We must lodge on the playne ; 
And us abofe 6 none other rofe 

But a brake bush or twayne. 
Which sone sholde greve you, I believe ; 

And ye wolde gladly than, 
That I had to the grene wode go 

Alone a banyshed man. 


Among the wylde dere, such an arch ere, 

As men say that ye be, 
May ye not fayle of good vitayle 

Where is so great plente : 
And water clere of the ry vere 

Shall be full swete to me ; 
With which in hele, I shall ryght wele 

Endure, as ye shall see : 
And, or we go, a bedde or two 

I can provyde an one. 
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde 

I love but you alone. 

The simplicity of which passage Prior has thus decorated and dilated. 


Those limbs, in lawn and softest silk array'd, 

From sun-beams guarded, and of winds afraid ; 

Can they bear angry Jove ? can they resist 

The parching dog-star, and the bleak north-east ? 

When, chill'd by adverse snows and beating rain, 

We tread with weary steps the longsome plain ; 

When with hard toil we seek our evening food, 

Berries and acorns from the neighbouring wood ; 

And find among the cliffs no other house, 

But the thin covert of some gather'd boughs ; 

Wilt thou not then reluctant send thine eye 

Around the dreary waste ; and weeping try 

(Though then, alas ! that trial be too late) 

To find thy father's hospitable gate, 

And seats, where ease and plenty brooding sate ? 

Those seats, whence long excluded thou must mourn ; 

That gate, for ever barr'd to thy return : 

Wilt thou not then bewail ill-fated love, 

And hate a banish'd man, condemn'd in woods to rove ? 

e i. e. above. 



Thy rise of fortune did I only wed, 

From its decline determined to recede ; 

Did I but purpose to embark with thee 

On the smooth surface of a summer's sea ; 

While gentle Zephyrs play in prosperous gales, 

And Fortune's favour fills the swelling sails ; 

But would forsake the ship, and make the shore, 

When the winds whistle, and the tempests roar? 

No, Henry, no : one sacred oath has tied 

Our loves ; one destiny our life shall guide ; 

Nor wild nor deep our common way divide. 

When from the cave thou risest with the day, 

To beat the woods, and rouse the bounding prey, 

The cave with moss and branches I '11 adorn, 

And cheerful sit, to wait my lord's return : 

And, when thou frequent bring'st the smitten deer 

(For seldom, archers say, thy arrows err), 

1 '11 fetch quick fuel from the neighbouring wood, 

And strike the sparkling flint, and dress the food ; 

With humble duty and officious haste, 

I '11 cull the farthest mead for thy repast ; 

The choicest herbs I to thy board will bring, 

And draw thy water from the freshest spring : 

And, when at night with weary toil opprest, 

Soft slumbers thou enjoy 'st, and wholesome rest ; 

Watchful I'll guard thee, and with midnight prayer 

Weary the gods to keep thee in their care ; 

And joyous ask, at morn's returning ray, 

If thou hast health, and I may bless the day. 

My thoughts shall fix, my latest wish depend, 

On thee, guide, guardian, kinsman, father, friend : 

By all these sacred names be Henry known 

To Emma's heart ; and grateful let him own, 

That she, of all mankind, could love but him alone I 

What degree of credit this poem maintained among our earlier an- 
cestors, I cannot determine. I suspect the sentiment was too refined 
for the general taste. Yet it is enumerated among the popular tales 
and ballads by Laneham, in his narrative of queen Elizabeth's enter- 
tainment at Kenilworth castle in 1575 f . I have never seen it in manu- 
script. I believe it was never reprinted from Arnolde's Chronicle, 
where it first appeared in 1521, till so late as the year 1707- It was 
that year revived in a collection called the MONTHLY MISCELLANY*, 

f Fbl. 34. 1707, according to Dr. Percy. See Re- 

* [Read the Muses Mercury for June liques of Engl. Pgctry, ii. 27. PARK.] 


or MEMOIRS FOR THE CURIOUS, and prefaced with a little essay on our 
ancient poets and poetry, in which it is said to have been three hundred 
years old. Fortunately for modern poetry, this republication suggested 
it to the notice of Prior, who perhaps from the same source might have 
adopted or confirmed his hypothesis, that it was coeval with the com- 
mencement of the fifteenth century. 

Whoever was the original inventor of this little dramatic dialogue, 
he has shown no common skill in contriving a plan, which powerfully 
detains our attention, and interests the passions, by a constant succes- 
sion of suspense and pleasure, of anxiety and satisfaction. Betwixt 
hopes perpetually disappointed, and solicitude perpetually relieved, we 
know not how to determine the event of a debate, in which new diffi- 
culties still continue to be raised, and are almost as soon removed. In 
the midst of this vicissitude of feelings, a striking contrast of character 
is artfully formed, and uniformly supported, between the seeming un- 
kindness and ingratitude of the man, and the unconquerable attachment 
and fidelity of the woman, whose amiable compliance unexpectedly de- 
feats every objection, and continually furnishes new matter for our love 
and compassion. At length, our fears subside in the triumph of suf- 
fering innocence and patient sincerity. The Man, whose hard speeches 
had given us so much pain, suddenly surprises us with a change of sen- 
timent, and becomes equally an object of our admiration and esteem. 
In the disentanglement of this distressful tale, we are happy to find,, 
that all his cruelty was tenderness, and his inconstancy the most inva- 
riable truth ; his levity an ingenious artifice, and his perversity the 
friendly disguise of the firmest affection. He is no longer an unfortu- 
nate exile, the profligate companion of the thieves and ruffians of the 
forest, but an opulent earl of Westmoreland ; and promises, that the 
lady, who is a baron's daughter, and whose constancy he had proved 
by such a series of embarrassing proposals, shall instantly be made the 
partner of his riches and honours. Nor should we forget to commend 
the invention of the poet, in imagining the modes of trying the lady's 
patience, and in feigning so many new situations ; which, at the same 
time, open a way to description, and to a variety of new scenes and 

I cannot help observing here, by the way, that Prior has miscon- 
ceived and essentially marred his poet's design, by softening the stern- 
ness of the Man, which could not be intended to admit of any degree 
of relaxation. Henry's hypocrisy is not characteristically nor consist- 
ently sustained. He frequently talks in too respectful and complaisant 
a style. Sometimes he calls Emma my tender maid, and my beauteous 
Emma ; he fondly dwells on the ambrosial plenty of her flowing ring- 
lets gracefully wreathed with variegated ribands, and expatiates with 
rapture on the charms of her snowy bosom, her slender waist, and har- 
mony of shape. In the ancient poem, the concealed lover never abates 
his affectation of rigour and reserve, nor ever drops an expression which 


may tend to betray any traces of tenderness. He retains his severity 
to the last, in order to give force to the conclusion of the piece, and to 
heighten the effect of the final declaration of his love. Thus, by dimi- 
nishing the opposition of interests, and by giving too great a degree of 
uniformity to both characters, the distress is in some measure destroyed 
by Prior. For this reason, Henry, during the course of the dialogue, 
is less an object of our aversion, and Emma of our pity. But these are 
the unavoidable consequences of Prior's plan, who presupposes a long 
connection between the lovers, which is attended with the warmest pro- 
fessions of a reciprocal passion. Yet this very plan suggested another 
reason why Prior should have more closely copied the cast of his ori- 
ginal. After so many mutual promises and protestations, to have made 
Henry more obdurate, would have enhanced the sufferings and the sin- 
cerity of the amiable Emma. 

It is highly probable that the metrical romances of RICHARD CUER 
TON, were modernised in this reign from more ancient and simple nar- 
rations*. The first was printed by Wynkyn de Worde, in 1528 h . The 
second without date, but about the same time, by William Copland. I 
mean that which begins thus, 

[S]Ithen the tyme that God was borne, 
And crystendome was set and sworne. 

With this colophon, " Here endeth the booke of the most victoryous 
prynce Guy earle of Warwyk. Imprinted at London in Lothbury, over 
against saynt Margaret's church by Wyllyam Copland V Richard Pin- 
son printed SIR BEVYS without date. Many quarto prose romances 
were printed between the years 1510 and 154>0 k . Of these, KYNGE 
APPOLYN of THYRE is not one of the worst. 

In the year 1542, as it seems, Robert Wyer printed, " Here begyn- 
neth a lytell boke named the SCOLE HOWSE, wherein every man may 
rede a goodly Prayer of the condycyons of women f." Within the leaf 

* [These three romances were pro- more polished, or the story more ampli- 

nounced by Ritson to be extant in MSS. fied or intricate, in the editions than they 

above 300 years old ; and one of them, at are in the MS. Simplicity, indeed, is a 

least (Sir Bevis), excepting the typogra- fault of which few people will have reason 

phical incorrectness of the old printed to complain in the perusal of an old me- 

copy, differs no otherwise from it than in trical romance, let its antiquity be what it 

its orthography and the slight variations it may. Ritson's Obs. p. 35. PARK.] 

inseparable from repeated transcription. h In quarto. See &upr. vol. i. p. 155. 

The ancient MS. copy of Richard Cuer seq. 

de Lion is as long at least as the old edi- In 4to. 

tions. But some MS. copies are so totally k See svipr. p. 64. 

different from each other, as not to have f [Thomas Petyt printed another edi- 

two lines in common; being translations tion in 1541 or 1561, for the title and 

from the French by different hands. This colophon bear different dates : and a third 

is the case with respect to Sir Guy ; there was printed by John Kyng in 1560. 

are two distinct translations, both very PARK.] [It has also been reprinted among 

old, one of which is line for line the same the Select Pieces of Early Popular Poetry, 

with the printed copy ; but it will not be PRICE.] 
found that the phraseology or style is 


is a border of naked women. This is a satire against the female sex. 
The writer was wise enough to suppress his name, as we may judge 
from the following passage. 

Trewly some men there be, 

That Ivye alwaye in greate horroure ; 
And say, it goeth by destenye 

To hange or wed, bothe hath one houre : 

And whether it be, I am well sure, 
Hangynge is better of the twayne, 
Sooner done, and shorter payne. 

In the year 1521, Wynkyn de Worde printed a sett of Christmas 
Carols 1 . I have seen a fragment of this scarce book, and it preserves 
this colophon : " Thus endeth the Christmasse carolles newly imprinted 
at London in the Flete-strete at the sygne of the sonne by Wynkyn de 
Worde. The yere of our Lorde, M.D.XXI." These were festal chan- 
sons for enlivening the merriments of the Christmas celebrity ; and not 
such religious songs as are current at this day with the common people 
under the same title, and which were substituted by those enemies of 
innocent and useful mirth the puritans. The boar's head soused was 
anciently the first dish on Christmas day, and was carried up to the 
principal table in the Hall with great state and solemnity. Hollinshed 
says, that in the year 1170, upon the day of the young prince's coro- 
nation, king Henry the Second " served his sonne at the table as sewer, 
bringing up the BORES HEAD with trumpets before it according to the 
manner 11 ." For this indispensable ceremony, as also for others of that 
season, there was a Carol, which Wynkyn de Worde has given us in the 
miscellany just mentioned, as it was sung in his time, with the title, 
" A CAROLL bringyng in the Bores heed." 

Caput Apri defero, 

Reddens laudes Domino. 
The Bore's head in hand bringe I, 
With garlans gay and rosemary. 
I pray you all synge merely, 

Qui estis in convivio. 

The Bore's head, I understande, 
Is the chefe servyce in this lande : 
Loke whereever it be fande p 
Servite cum cantico. 

1 For many small miscellaneous pieces n Chron. iii. 76. See also Polyd. Virg. 

under the reign of Henry VIII., the more Hist. p. 2 12. 10. ed. 1534. 
inquisitive reader is referred to MSS. Cott. that is, the chief dish served <at a 

Vesp. A. 25. feast. 

m In quarto. [See Ritson's Ancient p found. 

Songs, p. 126. PARK.] 



Be gladdc lordes, bothe more and lasse^, 
For this hath ordeyned our stewarde 

To chere you all this Christmasse, 
The Bore's head with mustarde. 

This carol, yet with many innovations, is retained at Queen's college 
in Oxford. Other antient Christmas carols occur with Latin Burthens 
or Latin intermixtures. As thus, 

Puer nobis natus est de Virgine Maria. 
Be glad lordynges, be the more or lesse, 
I brynge you tydynges of gladnesse r . 

The Latin scraps were banished from these jocund hymns when the 
Reformation had established an English liturgy. At length appeared, 
" Certaine of David's Psalmes intended for Christmas Carolls fitted to 
the most common but solempne tunes every where familiarly used, by 
William Slatyr, printed by Robert Young 1630 s ." 

It was impossible that the reformation of religion could escape with- 
out its rhyming libels. Accordingly, among others, we have, "An 
Answer to a papystical exhortation, pretending to avoyd false doctrine, 
under that colour to mayntayne the same," printed in 1548, and begin- 

Every pilde* pedlar 

Will be a medlar. 

In the year 1533, a proclamation was promulged, prohibiting evil- 
disposed persons to preach, either in public or private, " after their own 
braine, and by playing of enterludes, and printing of false fond bookes, 
ballades, rhymes, and other lewd treatyses in the English tongue, con- 
cerning doctrines in matters now in question and controversie," &c. u 
But this popular mode of attack, which all understood, and in which 
the idle and unlearned could join, appears to have been more powerful 
than royal interdictions and parliamentary censures. 

In the year 154-0, Thomas lord Cromwell, during the short interval 
which Henry's hasty passion for Catharine Howard permitted between 
his commitment and execution, was insulted in a ballad written by a 
defender of the declining cause of popery, who certainly showed more 
zeal than courage, in reproaching a disgraced minister and a dying man. 
This satire, however unseemly, gave rise to a religious controversy in 
verse, which is preserved in the archives of the Antiquarian Society. 

I find a poem of thirty octave stanzas, printed in 1546, called the 
DOWNFAL OF ANTJCHRISTES MAS, or Mass, in which the nameless 
satirist is unjustly severe on the distresses of that ingenious class of 
mechanics who got their living by writing and ornamenting service- 
books for the old papistic worship, now growing into decay and disuse ; 

q great and small. s In octavo. * pilled, i. e. bald. 

r MSS. Harl. 5396, fol. 4. fol, 18. u Fox, Martyrolog. f. 1339. edit. 1576. 


insinuating at the same time, in a strain of triumph, the great blow their 
craft had received, by the diminution of the number of churches in the 
dissolution of the monasteries vv . It is, however, certain, that this busy 
and lucrative occupation was otherwise much injured by the invention 
and propagation of typography, as several catholic rituals were printed 
in England : yet still they continued to employ writers and illuminators 
for this purpose. The finest and the latest specimen of this sort I have 
seen, is Cardinal Wolsey'sLECTioNARY, now preserved at Christ-church 
in Oxford, a prodigious folio on vellum, written and embellished with 
great splendor and beauty by the most elegant artists, either for the 
use of his own private chapel, or for the magnificent chapel which he 
had projected for his college, and peculiarly characteristic of that pre- 
late's predominant ideas of ecclesiastic pomp. 

Wynkyn de Worde printed a TRETISE OF MERLYN, or his prophe- 
cies in verse, in 1529. Another appeared by John Hawkyns, in 1533. 
Metrical and prosaic prophecies attributed to the magician Merlin, all 
originating from Geoffrey of Monmouth's historical romance, and of 
oriental growth, are numerous and various. Merlin's predictions were 
successively accommodated by the minstrel-poets to the politics of their 
own times. There are many among the Cotton manuscripts, both in 
French and English, and in other libraries x . Laurence Minot above 
cited, who wrote about 1360, and in the northern dialect, has applied 
some of them to the numerous victories of Edward the Third y. As 

Men may rede in Romance 2 right, 

Of a grete clerk that MERLIN night : 

w In a roll of John Morys, warden of covered with deer-skin. As, " Item in vj 

Winchester college, an. xx. Ric. II. A. D. pellibus cervinis emptis pro libris predictis 

1397, are large articles of disbursement cooperiendis, xiij s. iiij d." In another roll 

for grails, legends, and other service- (xix. Ric. II. A. D. 1396.) of warden John 

books for the choir of the chapel, then Morys above-mentioned, disbursements of 

just founded. It appears that they bought diet for SCRIPTORES enter into the quar- 

the parchment; and hired persons to do terly account of that article. "EXPENSE 

the business of writing, illuminating, no- extraneorum superveniencium, iij SCRIP- 

ting, and binding, within the walls of the TORUM, viij serviencium, et x choristarum, 

college. As thus: " Item in xi doseyn ixl. iiijs. xd." The whole diet expenses 

iiij pellibus emptis pro i legenda integra, this year, for strangers, writers, servants, 

que incipit folio secundo Quia dixerunt, and choristers, amount to 201. 19s. lOd. 

continente xxxiiij quaterniones, (pret. do- In another roll of 1399, (Rot. Comp. 

seyn iiij s. vi d. pret. pellis iiijd. ob.) lis. Burss. 22 Ric. II.) writers are in commons 

Item in scripturaejusdem Legende, Ixxij s. weekly with the regular members of the 

Et in illuminacione et ligacione ejusdem, society. 

xxx s. Item in vj doseyn de velym emptis x See Geoffr. Monm. vii. 3. And Rob. 

pro factura vj Processionalium, quorum Glouc. p. 132. 133. seq. 254. 256. Of the 

quilibet continet xv quaterniones, (pret. authority of Merlin's Prophecies in Eng- 

doseyn iiijs. vid.) xxvijs. Etin scriptura, land in 1216, see Wykes's Chron. sub 

notacione, illuminacione, et ligacione eo- ann. Merlin's Prophecies were printed 

rundem, xxxiijs." The highest cost of one in French at Paris, in 1498. And Mer- 

of these books is, 71. 13s. Vellum, for lini Vitae et Prophetiae, at Venice, 1554. 

this purpose, made an article of staurum y MS. Galb. E. ix. ut supr. 

or store. As, " Item in vj doseyn de velym z In another place Minot calls the book 

emptis in staurum pro aliis libris inde fa- on which his narrative is founded the Ro- 

ciendis, xxxiiij s. xjd." The books were MANCE: 



Ful many bokes er of him wreten, 
Als thir clerkes wele may witten a ; 
And zit b in many preve nokes c 
May men find of Merlin bokes. 
Merlin said thus with his mouth, 
Out of the North into the Sowth, 
Suld cum a Bare d over the se, 
That suld mak many men to fle ; 
And in the se, he said, ful right, 
Suld he schew e full mekill myght : 
And in France he suld bigin f 
To make tham wrath that ere thare in : 
Untill the se his taile reche sale&, 
All folk of France to mekill bale b . 
Thus have I mater for to make 
For a nobill Prince 1 sake. 
Help me, God, my wit is thin k , 
Now LAURENCE MINOT will bigin. 

A Bore es broght on bankes bare, 
With ful batail bifor his brest, 
For John of France will he noght spare 

In Normondy to tak his rest. 

At Cressy when thai brak the brig", 
That saw Edward with both his ine ; 
Than liked him no langer to ligP, 
Ilk Inglis man on others rig^; 
Over that water er thai went r , 
To batail er thai baldly big, 
With brade ax s , and with bowes bent, 
With bent bowes thai war ful bolde, 
For to fell of 1 the Frankisch men. 
Thai gert u tham lig with cares colde. 
Ful sari w was sir Philip x then : 
He saw the toun o ferrum? bren z , 
And folk for ferd war fast fleand a : 

How Edward, als the Romance saies, n bridge. eyne, eyes. p lie idle. 

Held his sege before Calais. q The English ran over one another, 

pressed forward, 
as scholars well know. V r Froigsart ^ thig the s or ford 

I S ^ * pnvy 5? of Blanch ta i ue > B - h ch - cxxvii - Ber - 

< Should come a Boar This Boar is , Transl. fol. Ixiii. a. 

king Arthur in Merlin s Prophecies. . broad batfle -ax. 

e Should he show. ' begin. t f u u 

* his tail shall reach to the sea. cause d. ' w sorry. 

* to the great destruction of the French. x p hm of Valoig) SQn of Johrij king of 

G 1 nircU -n 

t ranee. 

TJohn duke of Nor- I ? ha s VernOI> - C afar ff - B ' TSON -] 


The teres he lete fui rathly ren b 
Out of his eghen c , I understand. 
Than cum Philip, ful redy dight, 
Toward the toun with all his rowt ; 
With him come mani a kumly knight, 
And all umset d the Bare obout : 
The Bare made tham ful law to lout, 
And delt tham knokkes to thaire mede*, 
He gert tham stumbill that war stout. 
Thare helpid nowther staf ne stede e . 
Stedes strong bilevid still f 
Biside Cressy opon the grene*. 
Sir Philip wanted all his will 
That was wele on his sembland h sene, 
With spere and schelde, and helmis schene 1 , 
The Bare than durst thai noght habide k . 
The king of Berne 1 was cant m and kene, 
Bot thare he left both play and pride. 
Pride in prese ne prais I noght n . 
Omong thir princes prowd in pall, 
Princes suld be wele bithoght 
When kinges suld tham tyllP counsail call. 

The same boar, that is, Edward the Third, is introduced by Minot 
as resisting the Scottish invasion in 134-7, at Nevil's cross near Dur- 

b quickly, fast, run. c eyes. d beset. q The reader will recollect that this 

* reward. versification is in the structure of that of 

e lances and horses were now of no ser- the Lives of the Saints, where two lines 

vice. are thrown into one. viz. VNDECIM 

' stood still. Bleve. Sax. Chauc. Tr. Cr. MILLIA VIRGINUM. MSS. Coll. Trin. 

iv. 1357. Oxon. 57. 

A Bore with brenis bright Imartird wer for godis sone, ich wille 

Es broght opon zowre grene, telle that cas. 

That as a semely sizht, A kyng ther was in Bretaygne, Maur was 

With schilterouns faire and schene. his name, 

" countenance.[semblance. RiTSON.l A douzte f he ^ de that h et Vrse, a mayde 

bright helmets. . ofguodfame. 

* They could no longer withstand the bo fair woman me n y ste non ne so g uod 

Boar m none P vnte 

i John king of Bohemia. By Froissart Cristene waS al hire ken ' SWithe n ble 

he is called inaccurately the king of Be- _, . . and . 91 U -y nte ' 

haigne, or Charles of Luxemburg. See Of hlre . fairhede and guodnesse me told 

Froissart, ut supr. fol. Ixiv. b. The lord _, . in * sonde . slde ' 

Charles of Bohemia, his son, was also in That the d com into Engelonde, and 

the battle and killed, being lately elected . . 

, . . 

emperor. Hollinsh. iii. 372. A k ? n S there was ln kngelonde, man of 

m gay, alert S ret P ow e r > 

n I cannot praise the mere pomp of roy- Of this f^ide he herde telle gret nobleize 
a j ty> far and ner. 

advised, prepared. p to. The minstrel, who used the perpetual re- 


Sir David the Bruse* 
Was at distance, 
When Edward the Baliolfe r 
Rade 9 with his lance: 
The north end of Ingland 
Teched him to daunce, 
When he was met on the more 
With mekill mischance. 
Sir Philip the Valayse 
May him noght advance*, 
The flowres that faire war, 
Er u fallen in Fraunce I 
The flowres er now fallen, 
That fers x war and fell, 
A Bare^ with his bataille, 
Has done tham to dwell. 
Sir David the Bruse 
Said he sulde fonde 2 
To ride thurgh all Ingland, 
Wuld he noght wonde a : 
At the Westminster Hall, 
Suld his stedes stonde, 
Whils oure king Edward 
War out of the londe. b 

turn of a kind of plain chant, made his His heved 3 was wyte as any swan, his 

pause or close at every hemistic. In the higehen 4 were gret and grai, &c. 

same manner, the verses of the following His robe was al golde biganne, well crist- 

poem were divided by the minstrel. MSS. lik maked i understande, 

Cott. Jul. v. fol. 175. Pergamen. Botones asurd everilke ane, from his el- 

[The transcript is not later than the bouthe on til his hande 5 . 

year 1300.] They enter a castle . 

Als y yod on ay Monday, by twene Wil- The bankers on the binkes lay 6 , and faire 

tindon and Walle, ' lordes sette y fonde, 

Me ane after brade way, ay litel man y In ilk ay him y herd ay lay, and levedys 

melte withalle, southe me loud sange 7. 

The leste that ever y sathe, to say oither * David Bruce, king of Scotland. See 

in boure oither in halle, P. Langtoft, p. 116. 

His robe was neither grene na gray, hot r warlike. [Edward de Baliol. Edward 

alle yt was of riche palle. the Third was not in England when the 

On me he cald and bad me bide, wel stille affair at Nevill's Cross happened. RIT- 

y stode ay litel space ; SON.] 

Fro Lanchester the Parke syde, yeen he 8 rode. * could do him no service. 

come wel faire his pace : &c. u are. x fierce. y boar. 

I biheld that litel man, bi the strete als z should attempt. 

we gon gae 1 , B wander in going, [stop, stay. RIT- 

His berde was syde ay large span, and SON.] 

glided als the fether of pae 2 . b MSS. ut supr. Galb., E. ix. 

1 went on. 2 His beard was a span broad, and shone like a peacock's plumage. 

3 head. 4 eyes. 5 buttons, every one of them azure, from his elbow to his hand. 
6 cushions, or tapestry, on the benches laid. 7 In every corner I heard a Lay, 

and ladies, &c. 


Also in Edward's victory over the Spaniards in a sea-fight, in 1350, 
a part of Minot's general subject. 

I wald noght spare for to speke, 

Wist I to spede, 

Of wight men with wapin a , 

And worthly in wede. 

That now er driven to dale b , 

And ded all thaire dede, 

Thai sail in the see-gronde c , 

Fissches to fede! 

Fele d Fissches thei fede, 

For all thaire grete fare 6 , 

It was in the waniand f 

That thai come thare. 

Thai sailed furth in the Swin 

In a somers tyde, 

With trompes and taburns^, 

And mikell other pryde h . 

I have seen one of Merlin's PROPHESIES, probably translated from 
the French, which begins thus. 

Listeneth now to Merlin's saw, 
And I woll tell to aw 1 , 
What he wrat for men to come, 
Nothcr by greffe ne by plume. k 

a active with weapons. b sorrow. year, is the following disbursement: "Et 

c sea-bottom. d many. c feasting. in i tabula ceranda cum viridi cera pro 

f Q. waning of the moon ? intitulatione capellanorum et clericorum 

E tambourins, labours or drums. In Capelle ad missas et alia psallenda, viijd." 1 

Chaucer we have TABOURE, drum. This very curious and remarkable article 

h MSS. ut supr. signifies, that a tablet covered with green 

1 all. wax was kept in the chapel, for noting 

k I know not when this piece was writ- down with a style, the respective courses 

ten. But the word greffe is old French of daily or weekly portions of duty, alter- 

for Graphium, or Stylus. It is generally nately assigned to the officers of the choir. 

supposed, and it has been positively as- So far, indeed, from having ceased in the 

serted by an able French antiquary, that fifth century, it appears that this mode of 

the ancient Roman practice of writing writing continued throughout all the dark 

with a style on waxen tablets lasted not ages. Among many express proofs that 

longer than the fifth century. Hearne might be produced of the centuries after 

also supposes that the pen had succeeded that period, Du Cange cites these verses 

to the style long before the age of Alfred. from a French metrical romance, written. 

Lei. Itin. Vol. vii. Pref. p. xxi. I will about the year 1376. Lat. Gloss, v. GRA- 

produce an instance of this practice in PHIUM'. 

England so late as the year 1395. In an Les uns se prennent a ecrire, 

accompt-roll of Winchester college, of that Des greffes 3 en tables de cire ; 

1 Viz. " COMPUTUS magistri Johis Morys Custodis a die Sabbati proxime post fes- 
tum Annunciationis beate Marie anno regni Regis Ricardi Secundi post conquestum 
xvij mo , usque diem Veneris proxime ante festum sancti Michaelis extunc proxime se- 
quens anno regis predict! xviij vo , vid 14 per xxvj septimanas." It is indorsed, " Com- 
putus primus post ingrcssum in Collegium. Anno octavo post inceptionem Operis." 

2 See ibid. STYLISONUS. 3 Styles. Lat. Graphium, 




The public pageantries of this reign are proofs of the growing fami- 
liarity and national diffusion of classical learning. I will select an in- 

Les autres suivent la coustume 
De fournir lettres a la plume. 

Many ample and authentic records of the 
royal household of France, of the thir- 
teenth and fourteenth centuries, written 
on waxen tablets, are still preserved. 
Waxen tablets were constantly kept in 
the French religious houses, for the same 
purpose as at Winchester college. Thus in 
the Ordinary of the Priour of saint Lo at 
Rouen, printed at Rouen, written about 
the year 1250: "Qui, ad missam, lec- 
tiones aut tractus dicturi sunt, in tabula 
cerea primitus recitentur." pag.261. Even 
to this day, several of the collegiate bodies 
in France, more especially the chapter of 
the cathedral of Rouen, retain this usage 
of marking the successive rotation of the 
ministers of the choir. See the Sieur le 
Brun's Voyage Liturgique, 1718. p. 527. 
The same mode of writing was used for 
registering the capitular acts of the mo- 
nasteries in France. Du Cange, in reciting 
from an ancient manuscript the Signs en- 
joined to the monks of the order of saint 
Victor at Paris, where the rule of silence 
was rigorously observed, gives us, among 
others, the tacit signals by which they 
called for the style and tablet: "Pro 
SIGNO Grqfii. Signo metalli praemisso, 
extenso pollice cum indice simila [simula] 
scribentem. Pro SIGNO Tabularum. 
Manus ambas complica, et ita disjunge 
quasi aperiens Tabulas." Gloss, ut supr. 
v. SIGNA. torn. iii. p. 866. col. 2. edit. vet. 
Among the implements of writing allowed 
to the Carthusians, Tabula and Graphium 
are enumerated. Statut. Antiq. Carthu- 
sian. 2 part. cap. xvi. 8. This, how- 
ever, at Winchester college, is the only 
express specification which I have found 
of the practice, in the religious houses of 
England 4 . Yet in many of our old colle- 
giate establishments it seems to be pointed 
out by implication ; and the article here 
extracted from the roll at Winchester col- 
lege, explains the manner of keeping the 
following injunction in the Statutes of saint 
Elizabeth's college at Winchester, now 
destroyed, which is a direction of the same 
kind, and cannot be well understood with- 
out supposing a waxen tablet. These sta- 
tutes were given in 1301. " llabeat itaque 
idem prsecentor unam Tabulam semper in 
capella appensam, in qua scribat quolibet 

die sabbati post prandium, et ordinet, qua- 
lem Missam quis eorum capellanorum in 
sequent! septimana debeat celebrare ; quis 
qualem lectionem in crastino legere de- 
beat; et sic de caeteris divinis officiis in 
prsedicta capella faciendis. Et sic cotidie 
post prandium ordinet idem praecentor de 
servicio diei sequentis : hoc diligentius ob- 
servando, quod capellani Missam, ad quam 
die sabbati, ut prsemittitur, intitulantur, 
per integram celebrent septimanam." 
Dugd. Monast. torn. iii. Eccles. Coll. i. 10. 
Nothing could have been a more conve- 
nient method of temporary notation, espe- 
cially at a time when parchment and 
paper were neither cheap nor common 
commodities, and of carrying on an ac- 
count, which was perpetually to be obli- 
terated and renewed : for the written sur- 
face of the wax being easily smoothed by 
the round or blunt end of the style, was 
soon again prepared for the admission of 
new characters. And among the Romans, 
the chief use of the style was for fugitive 
and occasional entries. In the same light, 
we must view the following parallel pas- 
sage of the Ordination of bishop Wykeham's 
sepulchral chantry, founded in Winchester 
cathedral, in the year 1404: "Die sab- 
bati cujuslibet septimanae futurae, mona- 
chi prioratus nostri in ordine sacerdotali 
constituti, valentes et dispositi ad cele- 
brandum, ordinentur et intitulentur in 
Tabula seriatim ad celebrandum Missas 
prsedictas cotidie per septimanam tune 
sequentem," &c. B. Lowth's WYKEHAM. 
Append, p. xxxi. edit. 1777. Without 
multiplying superfluous citations 5 , 1 think 
we may fairly conclude, that whenever a 
Tabula pro Clericis intitulandis occurs in 
the more ancient rituals of our ecclesias- 
tical fraternities, a PUGILLARE or waxen 
tablet, and not a schedule of parchment or 
paper, is intended. The inquisitive reader, 
who wishes to see more foreign evidences 
of this mode of writing during the course 
of the middle ages, is referred to a Memoir 
drawn up with great diligence and research 
by M. 1'Abbe Lebeuf. Mem. Litt. torn. xx. 
p. 267. edit. 4to. 

The reasonings and conjectures of Wise 
and others, who have treated of the Saxon 
AESTEL, more particularly of those who 
contend that king Alfred's STYLE is still 
in being at Oxford, may perhaps receive 
elucidation or correction from what is here 

* But see Wanley's account of the text of S. Chad. Catal. Codd. Anglo-Sax, p. 289. 

6 See Statut. Eccles. Cath. Lichf. Dugd. Mon. iii. p. 244. col. 2. 10. p. 247. col. 2. 20. 
Statut. Eccles. Collegiat. de Tonge, ibid. Eccles. Coll. p. 152. col. 2. 40. 


stance, among others, from the shows exhibited with great magnificence 
at the coronation of queen Anne Boleyn, in the year 1533. The pro- 
cession to Westminster abbey began from the Tower ; and the queen, 
in passing through Gracechurch-street, was entertained with a repre- 
sentation of mount Parnassus. The' fountain of Helicon, by a bold 
fiction unknown to the bards of antiquity, ran in four streams of Rhe- 
nish wine from a basin of white marble. On the summit of the moun- 
tain sate Apollo, and at his feet Calliope. On either side of the decli- 
vity were arranged four of the Muses, playing on their respective 
musical instruments. Under them were written epigrams and poesies 
in golden letters, in which every Muse praised the queen, according to 
her character arid office. At the Conduit in Cornhill appeared the three 
Graces ; before whom, with no great propriety, was the spring of Grace 
perpetually running wine. But when a conduit came in the way, a re- 
ligious allusion was too tempting and obvious to be omitted. Before 
the spring, however, sate a poet, describing in metre the properties or 
functions of every Grace : and then each of these four Graces allotted 
in a short speech to the queen, the virtue or accomplishment over which 
she severally presided. At the Conduit in Cheapside, as my chronicler 
says, she was saluted with " a rich pageaunt full of melodic and song." 
In this pageant were Pallas, Juno, and Venus : before them stood Mer- 
cury, who presented to her majesty, in the name of the three goddesses, 
a golden ball or globe divided into three parts, signifying wisdom, riches, 
and felicity. At entering saint Paul's gate, an ancient portal leading into 
the church-yard on the east, and long since destroyed, three ladies richly 
attired showered on her head wafers, in which were contained Latin 
distichs. At the eastern side of saint Paul's church-yard, two hundred 
scholars of saint Paul's school addressed her in chosen and apposite 
passages from the Roman poets, translated into English rhymes. On 
the leads of saint Martin's church stood a choir of boys and men, who 
sung, not spiritual hymns, but new balads in praise of her majesty. On 
the conduit without Ludgate, where the arms and angels had been re- 
freshed, was erected a tower with four turrets, within each of which was 
placed a Cardinal Virtue, symbolically habited. Each of these per- 
sonages in turn uttered an oration, promising to protect and accompany 
the queen on all occasions 1 . Here we see the pagan history and my- 

casually collected on a subject, which this peculiar and obsolete fashion of wri- 
needs and deserves a full investigation. ting, to express a poet's design of descri- 
To a Note already labouring with its bing general life, will appear, if we consider 
length I have only to add, that without the freedom and facility with which it is 
supposing an allusion to this way of wri- executed. It is not yet, I think, disco- 
ting, it will be hard to explain the follow- vered, on what original Shakspeare formed 
ing lines in Shakspeare'sTimon of Athens, this drama. 

act i. sc. 1. i Hall's Chronicle, fol. ccxii. Among 

M f A iff '^e O rat i ns spoken to the Queen, is one 

Halts not particularly, but moves itself t0 CuHous A tO be ^"^ A * Leadenha11 
In a wide sea of wax Satc samt Anne wlth her numerous P r - 

geny, and Mary Cleophas with her four 

Why Shakspeare should here allude to children. One of the children made " a 


thology predominating in those spectacles, which were once furnished 
from the Golden Legend. Instead of saints, prophets, apostles, and 
confessors, we have Apollo, Mercury, and the Muses. Instead of re- 
ligious canticles, and texts of scripture, which were usually introduced 
in the course of these ceremonies, we are entertained with profane poetry, 
translations from the classics, and occasional verses ; with exhortations, 
not delivered by personified doctors of the church, but by the heathen 

It may not be foreign to our purpose, to give the reader some distinct 
idea of the polite amusements of this reign, among which, the Masque, 
already mentioned in general terms, seems to have held the first place. 
It chiefly consisted of music, dancing, gaming, a banquet, and a display 
of grotesque personages and fantastic dresses. The performers, as I 
have hinted, were often the king, and the chief of the nobility of both 
sexes, who under proper disguises executed some preconcerted strata- 
gem, which ended in mirth arid good humour. With one of these shows, 
in 1530, the king formed a scheme to surprise cardinal Wolsey, while 
he was celebrating a splendid banquet at his palace of Whitehall. At 
night his majesty in a masque, with twelve more masquers all richly 
but strangely dressed, privately landed from Westminster at Whitehall 
stairs. At landing, several small pieces of cannon were fired, which the 
king had before ordered to be placed on the shore near the house. The 
cardinal, who was separately seated at the banquet in the presence- 
chamber under the cloth of state, a great number of ladies and lords 
being seated at the side-tables, was alarmed at this sudden and unusual 
noise ; and immediately ordered lord Sandys, the king's chamberlain, 
who was one of the guests, and in the secret, to inquire the reason. 
Lord Sandys brought answer, that thirteen foreign noblemen of distinc- 
tion were just arrived, and were- then waiting in the great hall below; 
having been drawn thither by the report of the cardinal's magnificent 
banquet, and of the beautiful ladies which were present at it. The 
cardinal ordered them immediately into the banqueting-room, to which 
they were conducted from the hall with twenty new torches and a con- 
cert of drums and fifes. After a proper refreshment, they requested 
in the French language to dance with the ladies, whom they kissed, 
and to play with them at mum-chance" ; producing at the same time a 
great golden cup filled with many hundred crowns. Having played for 
some time with the ladies, they designedly lost all that remained in the 
cup to the cardinal ; whose sagacity was not easily to be deceived, and 
who now began, from some circumstances, to suspect one of them to 
be the king. On finding their plot in danger, they answered, " If your 
grace can point him out, he will readily discover himself." The cardi- 
nal pointed to a masque with a black beard, but he was mistaken, for 

goodlie oration to the queene, of the fruit- m It then belonged to Wolsey. 

fulness of saint Anne, and of her generation; n A game of hazard with dice, 

trusting the like fruit should come of hir." 


it was sir Edward Nevil. At this, the king could not forbear laughing 
aloud ; and pulling off his own and sir Edward Nevil's masque, con- 
vinced the cardinal, with much arch complaisance, that he had for once 
guessed wrong. The king and the masquers then retired into another 
apartment to change their apparel ; and in the meantime the banquet 
was removed, and the table covered afresh with perfumed clothes. Soon 
afterwards, the king, with his company, returned, and took his seat 
under the cardinal's canopy of state. Immediately two hundred dishes* 
of the most costly cookery and confectionary were served up ; the con- 
trivance and success of the royal joke afforded much pleasant conver- 
sation, and the night was spent in dancing, dice-playing, banketting 
and other triumphs . The old chronicler Edward Hall, a cotemporary 
and a curious observer, acquaints us, that at Greenwich, in 1512, "on 
the daie of the Epiphanie at night, the king with eleven others was dis- 
guised after the maner of Italic, called a Maske, a thing not scene be- 
fore in England ; they were apparelled in garments long and broad, 
wrought all with gold, with visors and caps of gold. And after the 
banket doone, these maskers came in, with six gentlemen disguised in 
silke, bearing staffe-torches, and desired the ladies to danse ; some were 
content, and some refused ; and after they had dansed and communed 
togither, as the fashion of the maske is, they tooke their leave and de- 
parted, and so did the queene and all the ladies?." 

I do not find that it was a part of their diversion in these entertain- 
ments to display humour and character^. Their chief aim seems to have 
been, to surprise, by the ridiculous and exaggerated oddity of the visors, 
and by the singularity and splendor of the dresses. Every thing was 
out of nature and propriety. Frequently the Masque was attended with 
an exhibition of some gorgeous machinery, resembling the wonders of 
a modern pantomime. For instance, in the great hall of the palace, the 
usual place of performance, a vast mountain covered with tall trees 
arose suddenly, from whose opening caverns issued hermits, pilgrims, 
shepherds, knights, damsels, and gypsies, who being regaled with spices 
and wine danced a morisco, or morris-dance. They were then again 
received into the mountain, which with a symphony of rebecs and re- 
corders closed its caverns ; and tumbling to pieces, was replaced by a 
ship in full sail, or a castle besieged. To be more particular. The fol- 
lowing device was shown in the hall of the palace at Greenwich. A 
castle was reared, with numerous towers, gates, and battlements ; and 
furnished with every military preparation for sustaining a long siege. 

* [Can we imagine, that though the Car- Hollinsh. Chron. iii. 921. seq. 

dinal was giving such a magnificent enter- p Chron. fol. xv. [See supr. vol. ii. 

tainment, lie would have had 200 costly p. 21 et seq.] 

dishes in reserve, ready to set on, if he f [Of these there was probably about 

had not been in the secret about the king's as much as would be found in a modern 

masqued visit? As to the mistake about masquerade, consisting of the king and his 

his person, this might be real or pretended. court, lords of the bed-chamber and maids 

ASHBY.] of honour. ASHBY.] 


On the front was inscribed Lefortresse dangereux. From the windows 
looked out six ladies, clothed in the richest russet satin, " laid all over 
with leaves of gold, and every one knit with laces of blew silk and gold, 
on their heads coifs and caps all of golde." This castle was moved about 
the hall ; and when the queen had viewed it for a time, the king entered 
the hall with five knights, in embroidered vestments, spangled and 
plated with gold, of the most curious and costly workmanship. They 
assaulted the castle ; and the six ladies, finding them to be champions 
of redoubted prowess, after a parley, yielded their perilous fortress, 
descended, and danced with their assailants. The ladies then led the 
knights into the castle, which immediately vanished, and the company 
retired^. Here we see the representation of an action. But all these 
magnificent mummeries, which were their evening- amusements on fes- 
tivals, (notwithstanding a parley *, which my historian calls a commu- 
nication, is here mentioned,) were yet in dumb show 1 ", and without 

But towards the latter part of Henry's reign, much of the old cum- 
bersome state began to be laid aside. This I collect from a set of new 
regulations given to the royal household about the year 1526, by car- 
dinal Wolsey. In the Chapter For keeping the Hall and ordering of 
the Chapel, it is recited, that by the frequent intermission and disuse of 
the solemnities of dining and supping in the great hall of the palace, 
the proper officers had almost forgot their duty, and the manner of con- 
ducting that very long and intricate ceremonial. It is therefore ordered, 
that when his majesty is not at Westminster, and with regard to his 
palaces in the country, the formalities of the Hall, which ought not 
entirely to fall into desuetude, shall be at least observed when he is at 
Windsor, Beaulieu, or Newhall 8 in Essex, Richmond, Hampton- court, 
Greenwich, Eltham, and Woodstock ; and that at these places only, 
the whole choir of the chapel shall attend. This attempt to revive that 
which had begun to cease from the nature of things, and from the growth 
of new manners, perhaps had but little or no lasting effect ; and with 
respect to the Chapel, my record adds, that when the king is on jour- 
neys or progresses, only six singing boys and six gentlemen of the choir 
shall make a part of the royal retinue ; who " daylie in absence of the 

9 Hollinsh. iii. 812. place in the Hall of the old Westminster- 

* [About the terms on which to surren- palace, several foreign embassadors being 

der the fortress that six fine ladies had present. " After supper, his grace [the 

defended. ASHBY.] king] with the queene, lords, and ladies, 

r But at a most sumptuous Disguising came into the White Hall, which was 

in 1519, in the hall at Greenwich, the hanged richlie ; the hall was scaffolded 

figure of FAME is introduced, who, " in and railed on all parts. There was an 

French, declared the meaning of the trees, ENTERLUDE of the gentlemen of his cha- 

the rocke, and turneie." But as this show pell before his grace, and diverse freshe 

was a political compliment, and many fo- songes." Hall, Chron. fol. xi. xii. [See 

reigners present, an explanation was ne- supra, vol. ii. p. 392.] 

cessary. See Hall, Chron. fol. Ixvi. This s A new house built by Henry the 

was in 1512. But in the year 1509, a Eighth. Hollinsh. Chron. iii. 852. 
more rational evening-amusement took 


residue of the chapel shall have a Masse of our Ladie bifore noon, and 
on Sondaies and holidaies, masse of the day besides our Lady-masse, 
and an anthempne in the afternoone : for which purpose, no great 
carriage of either vestiments or bookes shall require*." Henry never 
seems to have been so truly happy, as when he was engaged in one of 
these progresses ; in other words, moving from one seat to another, and 
enjoying his ease and amusements in a state of royal relaxation. This 
we may collect from a curious passage in Hollinshed ; who had pleased 
and perhaps informed us less, had he never deserted the dignity of the 
historian. " From thence the whole court remooved to Windsor, then 
beginning his progresse, and exercising himself dailie in shooting, sing- 
ing, dansing, wrestling, casting of the barre, plaieing at the recorders, 
flute, virginals, in setting of songes, and making of ballades. And when 
he came to Oking u , there were kept both justes turneies w ." I make no 
apology for these seeming digressions. The manners and the poetry of 
a country are so nearly connected, that they mutually throw light on 
each other. 

The same connection subsists between the state of poetry and of the 
arts ; to which we may now recall the reader's attention with as little 
violation of our general subject. 

We are taught in the mythology of the ancients, that the three Graces 
were produced at a birth. The meaning of the fable is, that the three 
most beautiful imitative arts were born and grew up together. Our 
poetry now beginning to be divested of its monastic barbarism, and to 
advance towards elegance, was accompanied by proportionable improve- 
ments in Painting and Music. Henry employed many capital painters, 
and endeavoured to invite Raphael and Titian into England. Instead 
of allegorical tapestry, many of the royal apartments were adorned with 
historical pictures. Our familiarity with the manners of Italy, and affec- 
tation of Italian accomplishments, influenced the tones and enriched the 
modulation of our musical composition. Those who could read the 
sonnets of Petrarch must have relished the airs of Palestrina. At the 
same time, Architecture, like Milton's lion pawing to get free, made 
frequent efforts to disentangle itself from the massy incumbrances of 
the Gothic manner ; and began to catch the correct graces, and to copy 
the true magnificence, of the Grecian and Roman models. Henry was 
himself a great builder ; and his numerous edifices, although constructed 
altogether on the ancient system, are sometimes interspersed with chaste 
ornaments and graceful mouldings, and often marked with a legitimacy 
of proportion, and a purity of design, before unattempted. It was 
among the literary plans of Leland, one of the most classical scholars 
of this age, to write an account of Henry's palaces, in imitation of 

1 " ORDENAUNCES made for the kinges mentioned as Chancellour of the Duchie 

household and chambres." Bibl. Bodl. of Lancaster. 

MSS. Laud, K. 48. fol. It is the original u Woking in Surrey, near Guildford, a 

on vellum. In it, Sir Thomas More is royal seat. w Chron. iii. 800. 


Procopius, who is said to have described the palaces of the emperor Jus- 
tinian. Frequent symptoms appeared, that perfection in every work of 
taste was at no great distance. Those clouds of ignorance which yet 
remained began now to be illuminated by the approach of the dawn of 


Effects of the Reformation on our poetry. Clement Marofs Psalms. 
Why adopted by Calvin. Version of the Psalms by Sternhold and 
Hopkins. Defects of this version, which is patronised by the Puritans 
in opposition to the Choral Service. 

THE reformation of our church produced an alteration for a time in the 
general system of study, and changed the character and subjects of our 
poetry. Every mind, both learned and unlearned, was busied in reli- 
gious speculation ; and every pen was employed in recommending, 
illustrating, and familiarising the Bible, which was now laid open to the 

The poetical annals of king Edward the Sixth, who removed those 
chains of bigotry which his father Henry had only loosened, are marked 
with metrical translations of various parts of the sacred scripture. Of 
these the chief is the versification of the Psalter by Sternhold and Hop- 
kins; a performance, which has acquired an importance, and conse- 
quently claims a place in our series, not so much from any merit of its 
own, as from the circumstances with which it is connected. 

It is extraordinary, that the protestant churches should be indebted 
to a country in which the reformation had never begun to make any 
progress, and even to the indulgence of a society which remains to this 
day the grand bulwark of the catholic theology, for a very distinguish- 
ing and essential part of their ritual. 

About the year 1540, Clement Marot, a valet of the bedchamber to 
king Francis the First, was the favorite poet of France. This writer, 
having attained an unusual elegance and facility of style, added many 
new embellishments to the rude state of the French poetry. It is not the 
least of his praises, that La Fontaine used to call him his master. He 
was the inventor of the rondeau, and the restorer of the madrigal ; but 
he became chiefly eminent for his pastorals, ballads, fables, elegies, 
epigrams, and translations from Ovid and Petrarch*. At length, being 

* [Hence was it observed in a poem be- Was Petrark murthing full with Dante, 

fore quoted, at p. 44. Who erst did wonders do. 

In Fraunce did Marot rayne, PARK.] 

And neighbour thearunto 


tired of the vanities of profane poetry, or rather privately tinctured with 
the principles of Lutheranism, he attempted, with the assistance of his 
friend Theodore Beza, and by the encouragement of the professor of 
Hebrew in the university of Paris, a version of David's Psalms into 
French rhymes. This translation, which did not aim at any innovation 
in the public worship, and which received the sanction of the Sorbonne 
as containing nothing contrary to sound doctrine, he dedicated to his 
master Francis the First, and to the Ladies of France. In the dedica- 
tion to the Ladies or les Dames de France, whom he had often before 
addressed in the tenderest strains of passion or compliment, he seems 
anxious to deprecate the raillery which the new tone of his versification 
was likely to incur, and is embarrassed how to find an apology for turn- 
ing saint. Conscious of his apostasy from the levities of life, in a spirit 
of religious gallantry he declares that his design is to add to the hap- 
piness of his fair readers, by substituting divine hymns in the place of 
chansons d'amour, to inspire their susceptible hearts with a passion in 
which there is no torment, to banish that fickle and fantastic deity CUPID 
from the world, and to fill their apartments with the praises, not of the 
little god) but of the true Jehovah. 

E voz doigts sur les espinettes 

He adds, that the golden age would now be restored, when we should 
see the peasant at his plough, the carman in the streets, and the me- 
chanic in his shop, solacing their toils with psalms and canticles ; and 
the shepherd and shepherdess, reposing in the shade, and teaching the 
rocks to echo the name of the Creator. 

Le Laboureur a sa charrue, 

Le Charretier parmy le rue, 

Et 1' Artisan en sa boutique, 

Avecques un PSEAUME ou C ANTIQUE, 

En son labour se soulagcr. 

Heureux qui orra le Berger 

Et la Bergere au bois estans, 

Fair que rochers et estangs, 

Apres eux chantant la hauteur 

Du sainct nom de Createur 3 . 

Marot's Psalms soon eclipsed the brilliancy of his madrigals and son- 
nets. Not suspecting how prejudicial the predominant rage of psalm- 
singing might prove to the ancient religion of Europe, the catholics 
themselves adopted these sacred songs as serious ballads, and as a more 
rational species of domestic merriment. They were the common accom- 
paniments of the fiddle. They were sold so rapidly, that the printers- 

a Les Oewres de Clement Marot de Lyon, 1551. 12mo. See ad calc. Traduc- 
Cahors, valet de chambre du roy, &c. A tions, &c. p. 192, 


could not supply the public with copies. In the festive and splendid 
court of Francis the First, of a sudden nothing was heard but the psalms 
of Clement Marot. By each of the royal family and the principal no- 
bility of the court a psalm was chosen, and fitted to the ballad-tune 
which each liked best*. The dauphin prince Henry, who delighted in 
hunting, was fond of Ainsi quon oit le cerf bruire, or Like as the hart 
desireth the water-brooks, which he constantly sung in going out to the 
chase. Madame de Valentinois, between whom and the young prince 
there was an attachment, took Du fond de ma pensee, or, from the 
depth of my heart, O Lord. The queen's favorite was, Ne vueilles pas, 
O Sire, that is, O Lord, rebuke me not in thine indignation, which she 
sung to a fashionable jigf. Antony king of Navarre sung, Revenge 
moy, pren le querelle, or, Stand up, O Lord, to revenge my quarrel, to 
the air of a dance of Poitou b . It was on very different principles that 
psalmody flourished in the gloomy court of Cromwell. This fashion 
does not seem in the least to have diminished the gaiety and good hu- 
mour of the court of Francis. 

At this period, John Calvin, in opposition to the discipline and doc- 
trines of Rome, was framing his novel church at Geneva, in which the 
whole substance and form of divine worship was reduced to praying, 
preaching, and singing. In the last of these three, he chose to depart 
widely from the catholic usage ; and, either because he thought that 
novelty was sure to succeed, that the practice of antiphonal chanting 
was superstitious, or that the people were excluded from bearing a part 
in the more solemn and elaborate performance of ecclesiastical music, 
or that the old papistic hymns were unedifying, or that verse was better 
remembered than prose, he projected, with the advice of Luther, a species 
of religious song, consisting of portions of the psalms intelligibly trans- 
lated into the vernacular language, and adapted to plain and easy me- 
lodies, which all might learn, and in which all might join. This scheme, 
either by design or accident, was luckily seconded by the publication of 
Marot's metrical psalms at Paris, which Calvin immediately introduced 
into his congregation at Geneva J. Being set to simple and almost mo- 

* [This mode of adaptation may be seen purpose. The verses were easy and prosaic 

in the Godly and Spirituall Songs, &c., enough to be intelligible to the meanest 

printed at Edinburgh in 1597, and re- capacity. The melodies to which they 

printed there in 1801. PARK.] were set rivalled the words in plainness 

f [Jig does not here signify a dance, and simplicity. They who could read the 

but a tune. PARK.] one would find little difficulty in learning 

b See Bayle's Diet. v. MAROT. to sing the other. As therefore it was the 

J [Marot's French translation of the protestant father's aim to open the Scrip- 
Psalms, said the late Mr. Mason, became tures entirely which had been so long shut 
popular in the court where it had its ori- up in a dead language, nothing would come 
gin ; not, as it seems, because it was a more opportune than this version of the 
version of the Psalms, but as being a ver- psalter ; which, united with prayer in their 
sion in rhyme, and what the taste of the own tongue, would enable his congregation 
time deemed good poetry. Devotion it to understand and join in the one, and be- 
must be believed had little to do in this come choristers of the other. Essays, &c. 
matter; the version was fashionable ! Cal- on English Church Music. PARK.] 
vin conceived it might be turned to a pious 


notonous notes by Guillaume de Franc, they were soon established as 
the principal branch in that reformer's new devotion, and became a 
characteristical mark or badge of the Calvinistic worship and profession. 
Nor were they sung only in his churches. They exhilarated the con- 
vivial assemblies of the Calvinists, were commonly heard in the streets, 
and accompanied the labours of the artificer. The weavers and woollen 
manufacturers of Flanders, many of whom left the loom and entered 
into the ministry, are said to have been the capital performers in this 
science. At length Marot's psalms formed an appendix to the catechism 
of Geneva, and were interdicted to the catholics under the most severe 
penalties. In the language of the orthodox, psalm-singing and heresy 
were synonymous terms. 

It was Calvin's system of reformation, not only to strip religion of its 
superstitious and ostensible pageantries, of crucifixes, images, tapers, 
superb vestments, and splendid processions, but of all that was estimable 
in the sight of the people, and even of every simple ornament, every 
significant symbol, and decent ceremony ; in a word, to banish every 
thing from his church which attracted or employed the senses, or which 
might tend to mar the purity of an abstracted adoration, and of a men- 
tal intercourse with the Deity. It is hard to determine how Calvin 
could reconcile the use of singing, even when purged from the corrup- 
tions and abuses of popery, to so philosophical a plan of worship. On 
a parallel principle, and if any artificial aids to devotion were to be al- 
lowed, he might at least have retained the use of pictures in the church. 
But a new sect always draws its converts from the multitude and the 
meanest of the people, who can have no relish for the more elegant 
externals. Calvin well knew that the manufacturers of Germany were 
no judges of pictures. At the same time it was necessary that his con- 
gregation should be kept in good humour by some kind of pleasurable 
gratification and allurement, which might qualify and enliven the at- 
tendance on the more rigid duties of praying and preaching. Calvin 
therefore, intent as he was to form a new church on a severe model, had 
yet too much sagacity to exclude every auxiliary to devotion. Under 
this idea, he permitted an exercise, which might engage the affections 
without violating the simplicity of his worship ; and sensible that his 
chief resources were in the rabble of a republic, and availing himself 
of that natural propensity which prompts even vulgar minds to express 
their more animated feelings in rhyme and music, he conceived a mode 
of universal psalmody, not too refined for common capacities, and 
fitted to please the populace. The rapid propagation of Calvin's reli- 
gion, and his numerous proselytes, are a strong proof of his address in 
planning such a sort of service. France and Germany were instantly 
infatuated with a love of psalm-singing ; which being admirably cal- 
culated to kindle and diffuse the flame of fanaticism, was peculiarly 
serviceable to the purposes of faction, and frequently served as the 
trumpet to rebellion. These energetic hymns of Geneva, under the 

VOL. in. L 


conduct of the Calvinistic preachers, excited and supported a variety 
of popular insurrections ; they filled the most flourishing cities of the 
Low Countries with sedition and tumult, and fomented the fury which 
defaced many of the most beautiful and venerable churches of Flan- 

This infectious frenzy of sacred song soon reached England, at the 
very critical point of time, when it had just embraced the reforma- 
tion ; and the new psalmody was obtruded on the new English liturgy 
by some few officious zealots, who favored the discipline of Geneva, 
and who wished to abolish, not only the choral mode of worship in 
general, but more particularly to suppress the TE DEUM, BENEDICTUS, 
MAGNIFICAT, JUBILATE, NUNC DIMITTIS, and the rest of the liturgic 
hymns, which were supposed to be contaminated by their long and an- 
cient connection with the Roman missal, or, at least in their prosaic 
form, to be unsuitable to the new system of worship. 

Although Wyat and Surrey had before made translations of the 
Psalms into metre, Thomas Sternhold was the first whose metrical ver- 
sion of the Psalms was used in the church of England. Sternhold was 
a native of Hampshire, and probably educated at Winchester college. 
Having passed some time at Oxford, he became groom of the robes to 
king Henry the Eighth. In this department, either his diligent ser- 
vices or his knack at rhyming so pleased the king, that his majesty be- 
queathed him a legacy of one hundred marks. He continued in the 
same office under Edward the Sixth, and is said to have acquired some 
degree of reputation about the court for his poetry. Being of a serious 
disposition, and an enthusiast to reformation, he was much offended at 
the lascivious ballads which prevailed among the courtiers ; and, with 
a laudable design to check these indecencies, undertook a metrical ver- 
sion of the Psalter, " thinking thereby," says Antony Wood, " that the 
courtiers would sing them instead of their sonnets, but did not, only 
some few excepted c ." Here was the zeal, if not the success, of his 
fellow labourer Clement Marot. A singular coincidence of circum- 
stances is, notwithstanding, to be remarked on this occasion. Verna- 
cular versions for general use of the Psalter were first published both 
in France and England, by laymen, by court-poets, and by servants of 
the court. Nor were the respective translations entirely completed by 
themselves ; and yet they translated nearly an equal number of psalms, 
Marot having versified fifty*, and Sternhold fifty-onef- Sternhold 
died in the year 1549. His fifty-one psalms were printed the same 

* Ath. Oxon. i. 76. f [Mr. Haslewood has pointed out an 

* [" Marot first published thirty psalms, edition printed by G. Whitchurch in 1551, 
and afterwards translated twenty more, which contains thirty-seven psalms by 
which he published at Geneva in 1543, Sternhold, and to these seven more were 
with the other thirty, together with a adjoined. See Censura Literaria, x. 4. 
preface written by Calvin." The Rev. PARK.] 

Charles Dunster's Considerations on 
Psalmpdy. PARK.] 


year by Edward Whitchurch, under the following title : " All such 
Psalms of David as Thomas Sternholde late grome of the kinges Maie- 
styes robes did in his lyfe tyme drawe into Englysshe metre*." They 
are without the musical notes, as is the second [third] edition in 1552. 
He probably lived to prepare the first edition for the press, as it is de- 
dicated by himself to king Edward the Sixth. 

Cotemporary with Sternhold, and his coadjutor, was John Hopkins; 
of whose life nothing more is known, than that he was a clergyman 
and a schoolmaster of Suffolk, and perhaps a graduate at Oxford about 
the year 1544. Of his abilities as a teacher of the classics, he has left 
a specimen in some Latin stanzas prefixed to Fox's MARTYROLOGY. 
He is rather a better English poet than Sternhold ; and translated fifty- 
eight of the psalms, distinguished by the initials of his name. 

Of the rest of the contributors to this undertaking, the chief, at least 
in point of rank and learning, was William Whyttingham, promoted by 
Robert earl of Leicester to Ihe deanery of Durham, yet not without a 
strong reluctance to comply with the use of the canonical habiliments. 
Among our religious exiles in the reign of Mary, he was Calvin's prin- 
cipal favorite, from whom he received ordination. So pure was his 
faith, that he was thought worthy to succeed to the congregation of 
Geneva, superintended by Knox, the Scotch reformer; who, from a 
detestation of idols, proceeded to demolish the churches in which 
they were contained. It was one of the natural consequences of Why t- 
tingham's translation from Knox's pastorship at Geneva to an English 
deanery, that he destroyed or removed many beautiful and harmless 
monuments of ancient art in his cathedral. To a man, who had so 
highly spiritualized his religious conceptions, as to be convinced that 
a field, a street, or a barn, were fully sufficient for all the operations 

* [" Henry the Eighth," says Brath- to disparage the pious endeavours of those 
waite, "for a few psalmes of David trans- who tooke paynes in that translation; but 
lated and turned into English meetre by rather, commending their laborious and 
Sternhold, made him groom of his privie Christian intention, do acknowledge that 
chamber." English Gentleman, p. 191, (considering the tymes they lived in, and 
1630. Against George Wither of Lin- of what quality they were) they made so 
coin's Inn, who had published " Hymnes worthye an attempt, as may justly shame 
and Songs of the Church " by royal li- us who came after, to see it no better se- 
cense in 1623, it was alleged that he conded, during all the flourishing tymes 
had " indecently obtruded upon the dS- which have followed their troublesome 
vine calling;" to which he indignantly age ; especially seeing, howe curiously our 
replied, " I wonder what divine calling language and expressions are refined in 
Hopkins and Sternhold had, more than our triviall discourses." Yet Wither, like 
I have, that their metricall Psalmes may his predecessors, professes to have used 
be allowed of rather than my Hymnes. that "simplicity of speech which best be- 
Surely, yf to have been groomes . of the cometh the subject," and to have as natu- 
privie-chamber were sufficient to qualify rally and as plainly expressed the sense 
them, that profession [the law] which I of Scripture, as most prose translations 
am of, may as well fitt me for what I have done. Few things perhaps are more 
have undertaken." Schollers Purgatory, difficult in metrical composition, than to 
p. 40. Wither proceeds to say: "Ex- unite simplicity with gracefulness. Some 
cuse me, if I seeme a little too playne in of our most distinguished modern poets 
discovering the faultiness of that whereof have failed to produce such union. 
so many are overweening: for I do it not PARK.] 



of Christian worship, the venerable structures raised by the magnificent 
piety of our ancestors could convey no ideas of solemnity, and had no 
other charms than their ample endowments. Beside the psalms he 
translated d , all which bear his initials, by way of innovating still fur- 
ther on our established formulary, he versified the Decalogue, the Ni- 
cene, Apostolic, and Athanasian Creeds, the Lord's Prayer, the TE 
DEUM, the Song of the three Children, with other hymns which follow 
the book of psalmody. How the Ten Commandments and the Athana- 
sian Creed, to say nothing of some of the rest, should become more 
edifying and better suited to common use, or how they could receive 
improvement in any respect or degree, by being reduced into rhyme, 
it is not easy to perceive. But the real design was, to render that more 
tolerable which could not be entirely removed, to accommodate every 
part of the service to the psalmodic tone, and to clothe our whole 
liturgy in the garb of Geneva. All these (for he was a lover of music) 
were sung in Whyttingham's church of Durham, under his own direc- 
tions. Heylin says, that from vicinity of situation, he was enabled to 
lend considerable assistance to his friend Knox in the introduction of 
the presbyterian hierarchy into Scotland. I must indulge the reader 
with a stanza or two of this dignified fanatic's divine poetry from his 
Creeds and the Decalogue. From the Athanasian Creed. 

The Father God is, God the Son, 

God Holy Ghost also ; 
Yet are there not three Gods in all, 

But one God and no mo. 

Of none the Father is, ne made, 

Ne create, nor begot: 
The Son is of the Father, not 
Create, ne made, but got. 

From the Apostolic Creed. 

From thence shall he come for to judge, 

All men both dead and quick ; 
I in the holy ghost believe, 

And church that 's catholick. 

The Ten Commandments are thus closed. 

Nor his man-servant, nor his maid, 

Nor oxe, nor asse of his ; 
Nor any other thing that to 

Thy neighbour proper is. 

These were also versified by Clement Marot. 

4 Among them is the hundredth, and the hundred and nineteenth. 


Twenty-seven of the psalms were turned into metre by Thomas Nor- 
ton e , who perhaps was better employed, at least as a poet, in writing 
the tragedy of GORBODUC in conjunction with lord Buckhurst. It is 
certain that in Norton's psalms we see none of those sublime strokes 
which sir Philip Sydney discovered in that venerable drama. He was 
of Sharpenhoe in Bedfordshire, a barrister, and in the opinion and 
phraseology of the Oxford biographer, a bold and busy Calvinist about 
the beginning of the reign of queen Elizabeth. He was patronised by 
the Protector Somerset ; at whose desire he translated an epistle ad- 
dressed by Peter Martyr to Somerset, into English, in 1550. Under 
the same patronage he probably translated also Calvin's Institutes. 

Robert Wisdome, a protestant fugitive in the calamitous reign of 
queen Mary, afterwards archdeacon of Ely*, and who had been nomi- 
nated to an Irish bishoprick by king Edward the Sixth, rendered the 
twenty-fifth psalm of this version f . But he is chiefly memorable for 
his metrical prayer, intended to be surig in the church, against the 
Pope and the Turk, of whom he seems to have conceived the most 
alarming apprehensions. It is probable, that he thought popery and 
mahometanism were equally dangerous to Christianity, at least the most 
powerful and the sole enemies of our religion. This is the first stanza. 

Preserve us, Lord, by thy dear word, 
From POPE and TURK defend us, Lordf ! 
Which both would thrust out of thy throne 
Our Lord Jesus Christ, thy dear son ! 

Happily we have hitherto survived these two formidable evils I 

* Marked N. [Mr. Haslewood, who qualified for preaching, and licensed 
took great pains to examine the distinct thereunto by the Queen's Majesty. See 
claims of the several contributors to this Mr. Gilchrist's complete edition of Cor- 
collective version of the psalms, has ap- bet's poems, p. 228. PARK.] 
portioned 28 to Norton, 25 to Kethe, f See Strype's Cranmer, p. 274. 276, 
16 to Whyttingham, 43 to Sternhold, 277. Psalms 70, 104, 112, 122, 125, 
and 56 to Hopkins. John Pullain con- and 134, are marked with W. K. Psalm 
tributed 2, Robert Wisdom 1, and T. C. 136, with T. C. It is not known to 
[Thomas Churchyard?] a different ver- whom these initials belong. [Those of 
sion of the 136th; D. Cox supplied aver- W. K. have been assigned to William 
sion of the Lord's prayer, and likewise a Kethe, an exile at Frankfort, and whose 
grace before and after meat, in sixteen name occurs again in Sect. LVJII. PARK.] 
lines each of alternate rhyme, in a Ma- f [Wither, in a tract quoted above, 
nuel of Christian Prayers by Abr. Flem- thus glances at this church solecism, 
ming, 1694. Initials occur before other "My booke of hymnes being allowed by 
specimens, which with their conjectural authority, are as fitt, I trust, to keepe 
appropriations may be seen in Cens. Lit. company with David's Psalmes as Ro- 
vol. x. 7. PARK.] bert Wisdomes TURKE and POPE and 

* [After holding the rectory of Set- those other apocryphal songs and praises 
trington in Yorkshire, he was presented which the stationers add to the Psalme 
to this archdeaconry by queen Elizabeth booke for their more advantage." Schol. 
in 1559-60. In bishop Cox's Certifica- Purg. p. 35. " From Turke and Pope " 
torium (MS. Benet Coll. Lib.) he was re- is used by Wither to designate a certain 
turned as a priest and B.D. usually re- psalm tune. See Table to his Lyric 
siding upon his living at Wilberton ap- Versions, p. 300. PARK.] 
propriated to the archdeaconry of Ely, as 


Among other ortTiodox wits, the facetious bishop Corbet has ridiculed 
these lines. He supposes himself seized with a sudden impulse to hear 
or to pen a puritanical hymn, and invokes the ghost of Robert Wis- 
dome, as the most skilful poet in this mode of composition, to come 
and assist. But he advises Wisdome to steal back again to his tomb, 
which was in Carfax church at Oxford, silent and unperceived, for fear 
of being detected and intercepted by the Pope or the Turk. But I 
will produce Corbet's epigram, more especially as it contains a criticism 
written in the reign of Charles the First, on the style of this sort of 


Thou once a body, now but ayre, 
Arch-botcher of a psalm or prayer, 

From Carfax come! 
And patch us up a zealous lay, 
With an old ever and for ay *, 

Or all and some. 
Or such a spirit lend me, 
As may a hymne down sende me 

To purge my braine ; 
But, Robert, looke behind thee, 
Lest TURK or POPE doe find thee, 

And goe to bed againe&. 

The entire version of the psalter was at length published by John 
Day, in 1562, attached for the first time to the common prayer, and 
entitled, " The whole Booke of Psalmes collected into English metre by 
T. Sternhold, J. Hopkins, and others, conferred with the Ebrue, with 
apt Notes to sing them withall." Calvin's music was intended to cor- 
respond with the general parsimonious spirit of his worship : not to 
captivate the passions, and seduce the mind, by a levity, a variety, or a 
richness of modulation ; but to infuse the more sober and unravishing 
ecstasies. The music he permitted, although sometimes it had wonder- 
ful effects, was to be without grace, elegance, or elevation. These apt 
notes were about forty tunes, of one part only, and in one unisonous 
key ; remarkable for a certain uniform strain of sombrous gravity, and 
applicable to all the psalms in their turns, as the stanza and sense might 
allow. They also appear in the subsequent impressions, particularly of 
1564 and 1577. They are believed to contain some of the original melo- 

* [This patching or ekeing out of Overbury, in his Characters, makes a 

Wisdome's psalmody is thus glanced at in precisian declare he " had rather heare 

Jordan's Piety and Poesy contrasted, un- one of Robert Wisdomes psalmes than the 

der (f A Fancy upon Words." best hymne a cherubim can sing:" and 

Sir J. Birkenhead sarcastically observes 

If long he to that idol pray in his Assembly-man " When Rons 

His sight by -Love's inflaming ray stood forth for his trial, Robin Wisdom 

Is lost for ever and for ay. was found the better poet." PARK.] 

Rob. Wisdom. g Poems, Lond. 1647. duod. p. 49. 


dies, composed by French and German musicians. Many of them, 
particularly the celebrated one of the hundredth psalm, are the tunes of 
Goudimel and Le Jeune, who are among the first composers of Marot's 
French psalms h . Not a few were probably imported by the protestant 
manufacturers of cloth, of Flanders, and the Low Countries, who fled 
into England from the persecution of the Duke de Alva, and settled in 
those counties where their art now chiefly flourishes. It is not however 
unlikely, that some of our own musicians, who lived about the year 
1562, and who could always tune their harps to the religion of the times, 
such as Marbeck, Tallis, Tye, Parsons, and Munday, were employed on 
this occasion ; yet under the restriction of conforming to the jejune and 
unadorned movements of the foreign composers. I presume much of 
the primitive harmony of all these ancient tunes is now lost, by addi- 
tions, variations, and transpositions. 

This version is said to be conferred with the Ebrue : but I am in- 
clined to think, that the translation was altogether made from the vulgate 
text, either in Latin or English. 

It is evident that the prose psalms of our liturgy were chiefly con- 
sulted and copied, by the perpetual assumption of their words and com- 
binations : many of the stanzas are literally nothing more than the prose- 
verses put into rhyme, as, 

Thus were they stained with the workes 
Of their owne filthie way ; 

And with their owne inventions did 
A whoring go astray 1 . 

Whyttingham however, who had travelled to acquire the literature 
then taught in the foreign universities, and who joined in the transla- 
tion of Coverdale's Bible, was undoubtedly a scholar, and an adept in 
the Hebrew language. 

It is certain that every attempt to clothe the sacred Scripture in verse, 
will have the effect of misrepresenting and debasing the dignity of the 
original*. But this general inconvenience, arising from the nature of 
things, was not the only difficulty which our versifiers of the psalter 
had to encounter, in common with all other writers employed in a simi- 
lar task. Allowing for the state of our language in the middle of the 
sixteenth century, they appear to have been but little qualified either 
by genius or accomplishments for poetical composition. It is for this 

h See this matter traced with great of Addison before him he declared that 

skill and accuracy by Hawkins, Hist. " such devotional poetry must always 

Mus. iii. 518. please." And in truth the dogma of Dr. 

> Psalm cvi. 38. Johnson, that "contemplative piety can- 

* [Dr. Johnson in his life of Waller not be poetical," is completely refuted by 

opined, that " poetical devotions cannot the Task of Cowper, inasmuch as contem- 

often please," and assigned strong reasons plative piety forms one of the mostpower- 

for such opinion; but these (as Mr. Dun- ful charms by which that devout and chris- 

ster observed) are not irrefragable. The tianpoetaccomplisheshis poetical enchant- 

observer's own feelings, indeed, furnished mcnt. See Hayley's Life. PARK.] 
a strong confutation, when with the hymns 


reason that they have produced a translation entirely destitute of ele- 
gance, spirit, and propriety*. The truth is, that they undertook this 
work, not so much from an ambition of literary fame, or a conscious- 
ness of abilities ; as from motives of piety, and in compliance with the 
cast of the times. I presume 1 am communicating no very new criti- 
cism when I observe, that in every part of this translation we are dis- 
gusted with a languor of versification, and a want of common prosody. 
The most exalted effusions of thanksgiving, and the most sublime 
imageries of the divine majesty, are lowered by a coldness of concep- 
tion, weakened by frigid interpolations, and disfigured by a poverty of 
phraseology. John Hopkins expostulates with the Deity in these ludi- 
crous, at least trivial, expressions : 

Why doost withdrawe thy hand aback, 

And hide it in thy lappe ? 
O, plucke it out, and be not slack 

To give thy foes a rappe ! k 

What writer who wished to diminish the might of the Supreme Being, 
and to expose the style and sentiments of Scripture, could have done it 
more skilfully, than by making David call upon God, not to consume 
his enemies by an irresistible blow, but to give them a rap ? Although 
some shadow of an apology may be suggested for the word rap, that it 
had not then acquired its present burlesque acceptation, or the idea of 

* [" But had they been better poets," [George Wither, who printed in the 

said Mr. Warton in his MS. memoranda, Netherlands, 1632, a lyric version of the 

" their performances had been less popu- Psalms, says he was commanded to per- 

lar." PARK.] feet that translation by king James, and 

k Ps. Ixxiv. 12. Perhaps this verse is finished the same about the time of that 

not much improved in the translation of monarch's translation to a better kingdom, 

king James the First, who seems to have viz. about March 1625. This version is an 

rested entirely on the image of why with- entirely different work from his Hymnes 

drawest thou not thine hand ? which he has and Songs of the Church, published in 

expressed in Hopkins's manner: 1623. It was designed, he tells us, to be 

Why dost thou thus withdraw thy hand, brief > P lain ' and significant; and to com- 

Ev'n thy right hand restraine ? bine the fullness of the sense with the re " 

Out of thy bosom, for our good, llsh of the Scripture phrase. In some of 

Drawe backe the same againe ! his effort ! he assuredly has been success- 

ful. I will cite two verses from the first 
In another stanza he has preserved Hop- psalm, 
kins's rhymes and expletives, and, if pos- 
sible, lowered his language and cadences. Blest is he who neither straies 
Ps. Ixxiv. 1. Where the godless man misguideth, 
Oh why, our God, for evermore Neither stands in sinners waies, 

Hast thou neglected us ? Nor in scorners chair abideth ; 

Why smoaks thy wrath against the sheep But in God ' s P ure lawe deli g hts . 

Of thine own pasture thus ? Thereon musing daies and nights. 

Here he has chiefly displayed the nuking Li Jf * tr f' f ett " ear ^ e s P ri . n f 

of God's wrath, which kindles in Hopkins. _ "l? ? 1 ? lw f y f S fl . orl8b ; 

The particle *A was never so distinguish- Stl " his fruits he timely brings 

ed and dignified. And it is hard to say, And hls lea [ s ^ a11 never P ensh : 

why his majesty should choose to make ff'"! f ln * fall prosper too, 

the divine indignation smoke, rather than Whlch he undertakes to do, &c. 
burn, which is suggested by the original. PARK.] 


a petty stroke, the vulgarity of the following phrase, in which the prac- 
tice or profession of religion, or more particularly God's covenant with 
the Jews, is degraded to a trade, cannot easily be vindicated on any 
consideration of the fluctuating sense of words*: 

For why, their hearts were nothing bent, 
To him nor to his trade 1 . 

Nor is there greater delicacy or consistency in the following stanza : 

Confound them that apply 

And seeke to worke my shame ; 
And at my harme do laugh, and cry, 

So, So, there goeth the game. 

The psalmist says, that God has placed the sun in the heavens, 
" which cometh forth as a bridegroom out of his chamber." Here is a 
comparison of the sun rising, to a bridegroom ; who, according to the 
Jewish custom, was ushered from his chamber at midnight, with great 
state, preceded by torches and music. Sternhold has thus metrified the 
passage n : 

In them the Lord made for the sun, 

A place of great renown, 
Who like a bridegroom ready trimm'd 

Doth from his chamber come. 

The translator had better have spared his epithet to the bridegroom ; 
which, even in the sense of ready -dressed, is derogatory to the idea of 
the comparison ; but ready-trimmd, in the language of that time, was 
nothing more than fresh-shaved. Sternhold as often impairs a splendid 
description by an impotent redundancy, as .by an omission or contrac- 
tion of the most important circumstances. 

The miraculous march of Jehovah before the Israelites through the 
wilderness in their departure from Egypt, with other marks of his om- 
nipotence, is thus imaged by the inspired psalmist : " O God, when tho 
wentest forth before the people, when thou wentest through the wilder- 
ness ; the earth shook, and the heavens dropped at the presence of God ; 
even as Sinai also was moved at the presence of God, who is the God of 
Israel. Thou, O God, sentedst a gracious rain upon thine inheritance, 
and refreshedst it when it was weary. The chariots of God are twenty 
thousand, even thousands of angels ; and the Lord is among them, as 

* [" In the whole book of Psalms," parts of divine service to contempt." Diss. 

says Dr. Brown, " as they are versified by on Poetry and Music, p. 213. PARK.] 

Sternhold and his companions, there are ' Ps. Ixviii. 37. 

few stanzas which do not present expres- m Ps. Ixx. 3. [This seems to have been 

sions to excite the ridicule of some part of a technical expression. PARK.} 

every congregation. This might well be n Ps. xix. 4. 
abolished, as it exposeth one of the noblest 


in the holy place of Sinai." Sternhold has thus represented these great 
ideas : 

When thou didst march before thy folk, 

The Egyptians from among, 
And brought them from the wildernes, 
Which was both wide and long : 

The earth did quake, the raine pourde downe y 

Heard were great claps of thunder ; 
The mount Sinai shooke in such sorte, 

As it would cleave in sunder. 

Thy heritage with drops of rain 

Abundantly was washt, 
And if so be it barren was, 

By thee it was refresht. 

God's army is two millions, 

Of warriours good and strong, 
The Lord also in Sinai 

Is present them among . 

If there be here any merit, it arises solely from preserving the ex- 
pressions of the prose version ; and the translator would have done 
better had he preserved more, and had given us no feeble or foreign 
enlargements of his own. He has shown no independent skill or energy. 
When once he attempts to add or dilate, his weakness appears. It is 
this circumstance alone, which supports the two following well-known 
stanzas P : 

The Lord descended from above, 

And bowde the heavens high ; 
And underneath his feet he cast 
The darknesse of the skie. 

On Cherubs and on Cherubims 

Full roiallie he rode ; 
And on the winges of all the windes * 

Came flying all abrode. 

Almost the entire contexture of the prose is here literally transferred, 
unbroken and without transposition, allowing for the small deviations 
necessarily occasioned by the metre and rhyme. It may be said, that 
the translator has testified his judgment in retaining so much of the 
original, and proved he was sensible the passage needed not any adven- 

Ps. Ixviii. 7. seq. tional honour by an imitation of them in 

p Ps. xviii. 9, 10. his Annus Mirabilis: 

* [Dryden honoured these verses with Qn wings of all the winds to combat flies, 
high commendation, and conferred addi St. 55. PARK.] 


titious ornament. But what may seem here to be judgment or even 
taste, I fear, was want of expression in himself. He only adopted what 
was almost ready done to his hand. 

To the disgrace of sacred music, sacred poetry, and our established 
worship, these psalms still continue to be sung in the church of En- 
gland. It is certain, had they been more poetically translated, they 
would not have been acceptable to the common people. Yet however 
they may be allowed to serve the purposes of private edification, in ad- 
ministering spiritual consolation to the manufacturer and mechanic, as 
they are extrinsic to the frame of our liturgy, and incompatible with 
the genius of our service, there is perhaps no impropriety in wishing, 
that they were remitted and restrained to that church in which they 
sprung, and with whose character and constitution they seem so aptly 
to correspond. Whatever estimation in point of composition they might 
have attracted at their first appearance in a ruder age, and however in- 
strumental they might have been at the infancy of the reformation in 
weaning the minds of men from the papistic ritual, all these considera- 
tions can now no longer support even a specious argument for their 
being retained. From the circumstances of the times, and the growing 
refinements of literature, of course they become obsolete and contempt- 
ible. A work grave, serious, and even respectable for its poetry, in the 
reign of Edward the Sixth, at length in a cultivated age has contracted 
the air of an absolute travestie. Voltaire observes, that in proportion 
as good taste improved, the psalms of Clement Marot inspired only dis- 
gust ; and that although they charmed the court of Francis the First, 
they seemed only to be calculated for the populace in the reign of Lewis 
the Fourteenth r . 

To obviate these objections, attempts have been made from time to 
time to modernise this ancient metrical version, and to render it more 
tolerable and intelligible by the substitution of more familiar modes of 
diction. But, to say nothing of the unskilfulness with which these ar- 
bitrary corrections have been conducted, by changing obsolete for 
known words, the texture and integrity of the original style, such as 
it was, has been destroyed ; and many stanzas, before too naked and 
weak, like a plain old Gothic edifice stripped of its few signatures of 
antiquity, have lost that little and almost only strength and support 
which they derived from ancient phrases. Such alterations, even if 
executed with prudence and judgment, only corrupt what they endea- 
vour to explain ; and exhibit a motley performance, belonging to no 
character of writing, and which contains more improprieties than those 
which it professes to remove. Hearne is highly offended at these un- 
warrantable and incongruous emendations, which he pronounces to be 
abominable in any book, " much more in a sacred work ;" and is confi- 
dent, that were Sternhold and Hopkins " now living, they would be so 

r Hist. Mod. ch. ccvii. 


far from owning what is ascribed to them, that they would proceed 
against the innovators as CHEATS S ." It is certain, that this translation 
in its genuine and unsophisticated state, by ascertaining the signification 
of many radical words now perhaps undeservedly disused, and by display- 
ing original modes of the English language, may justly be deemed no in- 
considerable monument of our ancient literature, if not of our ancient 
poetry*. In condemning the practice of adulterating this primitive 
version, I would not be understood to recommend another in its place, 
entirely new. I reprobate any version at all, more especially if intended 
for the use of the church f. 

In the mean time, not to insist any longer on the incompatibility of 
these metrical psalms with the spirit of our liturgy, and the barbarism 
of their style, it should be remembered, that they were never admitted 
into our church by lawful authority. They were first introduced by 
the puritans, and afterwards continued by connivance. But they never 
received any royal approbation or parliamentary sanction;}:, notwith- 
standing it is said in their title page, that they are " set forth and AL- 
LOWED to be sung in all churches of all the people together before and 
after evening prayer, and also before and after sermons : and moreover 
in private houses for their godly solace and comfort, laying apart all 
ungodly songs and ballads, which tend only to the nourishing of vice 
and the corrupting of youth." At the beginning of the reign of queen 
Elizabeth, when our ecclesiastical reformation began to be placed on a 
solid and durable establishment, those English divines who had fled 
from the superstitions of queen Mary to Franckfort and Geneva, where 
they had learned to embrace the opposite extreme, and where, from an 
abhorrence of catholic ceremonies, they had contracted a dislike to the 

8 Gloss. Rob. Gl. p. 699. [Hearne pular psalmody in our churches." Life of 

complains also that these innovators have Warton, p. cvi. PARK.] 
in several places changed the very initial J [This is humorously attested by Sir 

letters that were to represent the several John Birkenhead in his witty character 

parts of the Psalms that every one turned of an Assembly-man or Independent, who 

into metre. PARK.] is made to tear the liturgy, and burn the 

* [Sir John Hawkins observes, that the book of common prayer : yet he has mercy 

early translation of the psalms into metre (he adds) on Hopkins and Sternhold, be- 

" was the work of men as well qualified cause their metres are sung without au- 

for the undertaking as any that the times thority (no statute, canon, or injunction 

they lived in could furnish; and he deemed at all) only like himself, first crept into 

Fuller had not greatly erred in saying that private houses, and then into churches. 

' match these verses for their ages, they Wither gravely confirms the same in the 

shall go abreast with the best poems of following paragraph from his Scholler's 

those times.'" Hist, of Music, iii. 512. Purgatory, before quoted: "By what pub- 

PARK.] licke example did we sing David's Psalms 

f [Dr. Huntingford, bishop of Glou- in English meeter before the raigne of 

cester, represented Mr. Warton as strongly king Edward the Sixth ? or by what com- 

attached to the church of England in all mand of the church do we sing them as 

the offices of her liturgy. " This attach- they are now in use ? Verily by none, 

ment," says Mr. Mant, " mixed with a But tyme and Christian devotion having 

decided antipathy to Calvinistic doctrine first brought forth that practice, and cus- 

and discipline, may have disposed our tome ripening it, long toleration hath in 

historian not only to regard choral service a manner fully authorized the same." 

with fondness, but to have reprobated PARK.] 
somewhat too severely the practice of po- 


decent appendages of divine worship, endeavoured, in conjunction with 
some of the principal courtiers, to effect an abrogation of our solemn 
church service, which they pronounced to be antichristian and unevan- 
gelical. They contended that the metrical psalms of David, set to plain 
and popular music, were more suitable to the simplicity of the gospel, 
and abundantly adequate to all the purposes of edification : and this 
proposal they rested on the authority and practice of Calvin, between 
whom and the church of England the breach was not then so wide as 
at present. But the queen and those bishops to whom she had dele- 
gated the business of supervising the liturgy, among which was the 
learned and liberal archbishop Parker, objected, that too much atten- 
tion had already been paid to the German theology. She declared, 
that the foreign reformers had before interposed, on similar delibera- 
tions, with unbecoming forwardness ; and that the Common Prayer of 
her brother Edward had been once altered, to quiet the scruples, and 
to gratify the cavils, of Calvin, Bucer, and Fagius. She was there- 
fore invariably determined to make no more concessions to the impor- 
tunate partisans of Geneva, and peremptorily decreed that the choral 
formalities should still be continued in the celebration of the sacred 


Metrical versions of Scripture. Archbishop Parkers Psalms in metre. 
Robert Crowleys puritanical poetry. 

THE spirit of versifying the psalms, and other parts of the Bible, at the 
beginning of the reformation, was almost as epidemic as psalm-singing. 
William Hunnis, a gentleman of the chapel under Edward the Sixth, 
and afterwards chapel-master to queen Elizabeth, rendered into rhyme 
many select psalms*, which had not the good fortune to be rescued 
from oblivion by being incorporated into Hopkins's collection, nor to 
be sung in the royal chapel. They were printed in 1550, with this 
title : " Certayne Psalmes chosen out of the Psalter of David, and drawen 
furth into Englysh meter by William Hunnis servant to the ryght ho- 

1 See Canons and Injunctions, A.D. To God my soule I do bequeathe, because 
1559. Num. xlix. it is his owen, 

* [On the back of the title to a copy My body to be layd in grave, where to my 
of Sir Thomas More's works, 1557, (pre- frends best known: 

sented to the library of Trin. Coll. Oxon. Executors I wyll none make, thereby 
by John Gibbon, 1630,) the following great stryffe may grow ; 

lines occur, which bear the signature of Because the goodes that I shall leave wyll 
our poet in a coeval hand. not pay all I owe. 




nourable syr William Harberd knight Newly collected and im- 

I know not if among these are his SEVEN SOBS of a sorrowful soul 
for sin, comprehending the SEVEN PENITENTIAL PSALMS in metre*. 
They are dedicated to Frances countess of Sussex, whose attachment 
to the gospel he much extols f, and who was afterwards the foundress 
of Sydney college in Cambridge. Hunnis also, under the happy title 
of a HANDFUL OF HONEY-SUCKLES, published Blessings out of Deu- 
teronomie, Prayers to Christy Athanasiuss Creed, and Meditations I, in 
metre with musical notes. But his spiritual nosegays are numerous. 
To say nothing of his RECREATIONS on Adams Banishment, Christ his 
Cribb, and the Lost Sheep, he translated into English rhyme the whole 
book of GENESIS, which he calls a HIVE FULL OF HoNEY b . But his 
honey-suckles and his honey are now no longer delicious. He was a 
large contributor to the PARADISE OF DAINTY DEVISES, of which 
more will be said in its place. In the year 1550, were also published 
by John Hall, or Hawle, a surgeon or physician of Maidstone in Kent, 
and author of many tracts in his profession, " Certayne chapters taken 
out of the proverbes of Solomon, with other chapters of the holy Scrip- 
ture, and certayne Psalmes of David translated into English metre by 
John Hali c ." By the remainder of the title it appears, that the pro- 

* I have also seen Hunnis's " Abridge- 
ment or brief meditation on certaine of 
the Psalmes in English metre," printed 
by R. Wier, 4to. [8vo. says Bishop Tan- 
ner. PARK.] 

* [The " Certayne Psalmes'* did not 
appear among the " Seven Sobs," which 
were licensed to H. Denham Nov. 1581, 
and printed in 15, 1585, 1589, 1597, 
1629 and 1636. Hunnis's "Seven Steps 
to Heaven" were also licensed in 1581. 
The love of alliteration had before pro- 
duced "a Surge of Sorrowing Sobs," in 
the "gorgeous gallery of gallant inven- 
tions," 1578. PARK.] 

f [Her ladyship's virtue and courtesie 
are extolled ; but godlie fear, firm faith, 
&c. are only enumerated among the dedi- 
cator's wishes. PARK.] 

J [To these were added the poore Wi- 
dowes mite, Comfortable Dialogs betweene 
Christ and a Sinner, a Lamentation of 
youth's follies, a psalme of rejoising, and 
a praierfor the good estate of Queen Eliza- 
beth. The last being the shortest is here 
given ; for Hunnis was rather a prosaic 

Thou God that guidst both heaven and 

On whom we all depend ; 
Preserve our Queene in perfect health, 

And hir from harme defend. 
Conserve hir life, in peace to reigne, 

Augment hir joyes withall : 

Increase hir friends, maintaine hir cause, 

And heare us when we call! 
So shall all we that faithfull be 

Rejoise and praise thy name : 
O God, 6 Christ, 6 Holie-Ghost, 

Give eare, and grant the same. Amen. 

b Printed by T. Marshe, 1578. 4to. 
[And entitled " A Hyve full of Hunnye : 
contayning the firste Booke of Moses called 
Genesis. Turned into English Meetre by 
William Hunnis, one of the Gent, of her 
Majestie's Chappel and Maister to the 
Children of the same," &c. It is inscribed 
to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, in an 
acrostic on his name, which is followed by 
another on the versifiers " to the friendlye 
reader." Thos. Newton has verses pre- 
fixed "in commendation of this his 
Frendes travayle," which was written, as 
it seems, " in the winter of his age." He 
names as previous productions of Hunnis, 
" Interludes and gallant layes, and ronde- 
letts and songs, his Nosegay and his Wy- 
dowes Myte, with other fancies of his 
forge :" and he tells us, that in the prime 
of youth his pen " had depaincted Sonets 
Sweete." This probably is allusive to his 
contributions in the " Paradise of Daintie 
Devises." Wood calls Hunnis a crony of 
Thomas Newton, the Latin poet. Ath. 
Oxon. i. 152. PARK.] 

c There is an edition in quarto dedicated 
to king Edward the Sixth with this title, 



verbs had been in a former impression unfairly attributed to Thomas 
Sternhold. The other chapters of Scripture are from Ecclesiasticus 
and saint Paul's Epistles. We must riot confound this John Hall with 
his cotemporary Eliseus Hall, who pretended to be a missionary from 
heaven to the queen, prophesied in the streets, and wrote a set of me- 
trical visions d . Metre was now become the vehicle of enthusiasm, and 
the puritans seem to have appropriated it to themselves, in opposition 
to our service, which was in prose *. 

William Baldwyn, of whom more will be said when we come to the 
MIRROUR OF MAGISTRATES, published a Phraselike declaration in 
English meeter on the CANTICLES or SONGS OF SOLOMON, in 154?9't- 

" The Psalmes of David translated into 
English metre by T. Sternhold, sir T. 
Wyat, and William Hunnis, with certaine 
chapters of the Proverbes and select 
Poalmes by John Hall." I think I have 
seen a book by Hall called the " Court of 
Virtue," containing some or all of these 
sacred songs, with notes, 1565. 8vo. 
[16mo.] He has a copy of verses pre- 
fixed to Gale's Enchiridion of Surgery, 
Lond. 1563. See John Reade's Preface 
to his translation of F. Arcaeus's Anatomy. 

d Strype, Ann. i. p. 291. ch. xxv. ed. 

* [I suppose that church service of 
chant and anthem is here meant ; other- 
wise, their preaching and praying was at 
least as bad prose as ours. ASHBY.] 

f [With the sight of this rare book I 
have been favoured by a friend; its title 
runs thus: "The CANTICLES orBALADES 
of SALOMON, phrasely he declared in En- 
glysh metres, by WILLIAM BALDWIN. 

Syng to the Lord sum pleasant song, 

Of matter fresh and newe : 
Unto his churche it doth belong 
His prayses to renewe. Psalme cxviii. 

Colophon : " Imprinted at London by 
William Baldwin, servaunt with Edwarde 
Whitchurche." Baldwin, in the dedica- 
tion to his royal patron, expresses a pious 
wish that these swete and mistical songs 
may drive out of office " the baudy ba- 
lades of lecherous love," which were in- 
dited and sung by idle courtiers in the 
houses of princes and noblemen. To for- 
ward the same purpose, he tells us "his 
Majesty [Edw. VI.] had given a notable 
example, in causyng the Psalmes, brought 
into fine Englysh meter, by his godly dis- 
posed servaunt Thomas Sternholde, to be 
song openly before his grace, in the hear- 
ing of all his subjectes." Baldwin's me- 
trical paraphrase of the Song of Solomon 
exhibits a greater facility of versification 

than the psalmody of his predecessor, and 
the lyrical varieties of his metre render it 
far more pleasing. I extract a few short 
specimens from different parts of the vo- 

Loe, thou my love art fayer; 
Myselfe have made thee so : 
Yea, thou art fayer, in dede, 
Wherefore thou shall not nede 
In beautie to dispayer : 
For I accept thee, lo, 
For fayer. 

For fayer, because thyne eyes 
Are like the culvers, whyte; 
Whose simplenes in dede, 
All others doe excede : 
Thy judgement wholly lyes 
In true sence of [the] spryte, 
Moste wyse. Sign. B. 3. b. 

In wysedome of the flesh, my bed, 
Finde truste in wurkes of mannes devise, 
By nyght, in darkenes of the dead, 
I sought for Christe, as one unwyse, 
VVhome my soule loveth. 

I sought hym long, but founde him not, 
Because I sought hym not aryght; 
I sought in wurkes, but now, I wot, 
He is found by fayth, not in the nyght, 
Whome my soule loveth. 

Sign. E. 1. a. 

Ye faythfull, would ye know 

As full what one he is ? 
My wit and learnyng is too low 

To shew that shape of his. 

My love is suche a gem, 

My frende also is he : 
Ye daughters of Jerusalem, 

Suche is my love to me. 

Sign. H. 3. a. 

A more brief and much more prosaic 
version of Solomon's Canticum Cantico- 
rum was published, in 1575, by a rhymer 
hitherto unrecorded in these annals, or in 


It is dedicated to Edward the Sixth 6 . Nineteen of the psalms in 
rhyme are extant by Francis Seagar*, printed by William Seres in 
1553, with musical notes, and dedicated to Lord llussel f . 

Archbishop Parker also versified the psalter ; not from any opposi- 
tion to our liturgy, but, either for the private amusement and exercise 
of his religious exile, or that the people, whose predilection for psalm- 
ody could not be suppressed, might at least be furnished with a rational 
and proper translation. It was finished in 1557, and a few years 
afterwards printed by Day, the archbishop's printer, in quarto, with 
this title, " The whole Psalter translated into English metre, which 
contayneth an hundredth and fifty psalmes. The first Quinquagene&. 
Quoniam omnis terrce deus, psallite sapienter. Ps. 14. 47. Imprinted 
at London by John Daye, dwelling over Aldersgate beneath Saint 
Marty n's. Cum privilegio per decenniumV Without date of the 
printer 1 , or name of the translator. In the metrical preface prefixed, 
he tries to remove the objections of those who censured versifications 
of Scripture, he pleads the comforts of such an employment to the per- 
secuted theologist who suffers voluntary banishment, and thus displays 
the power of sacred music : 

The psalmist stayde with tuned songe 

The rage of myndes agast, 
As David did with harpe among 

To Saule in fury cast. 

the typographical antiquities of Herbert. But wil ye gladli knoe who made that 

His book was entitled, " A misticall devise boke in dede, 

of the spirituall and godly love betweene OneWYLLiAMBALDEWiNE Godgraunt 

Christ the spouse, and the Church or him wel to spede. PARK.] 

Congregation : first made by the wise e T 

prince Saloman, and now newly set forth p * J , n 1 ua I tO - . J have c s f en al ? "The 

in verse by Jud Smith," &c. Printed by Ba ! lads or ,? an ^ ^ f Solomon ln Prose e 

H. KirckhL, IGmo, b. 1. A single stan! $~ uflT^ * -" f 

* [Sir Thomas Smith, the learned se- 

Come, wend unto my garden gay, cretary to Edward VI. and to his sister 

My sister and my spowse ; Elizabeth, while a prisoner in the Tower 

For I have gathered mirre with spice, in 1549, translated eleven of David's 

And other goodly bowes. psalms into English metre, and composed 

A fantastical and almost unintelligible three metrical prayers, which are now in 

pamphlet was printed in black letter, * e B . r ^ s p h M " seum ' MSS ' Re S' l7 ' 

called " Beware the Cat," and was attri- {*' , V 

, i A A 

buted to one Stremer : but in the library e end " a 06 ' Ied " A 

n . f 

of the Society of Antiquaries, a black P^T ^ ^ e L) f f ,,, Man ' - the 
letter copy of verses is preserved, which World and Vamties l iereof ' ^ lnc - 
ascribes ^he production peremptorily to "** on earth can justly rejoyce ? 

the^pen of Baldwin in these ta fc 

h In black letter. Among the prefaces 

Wheras ther is a boke called Beware the are four lines from lord Surrey's Eccle- 

Cat, siastes. Attached to every psalm is a 

The verie truth is so that STREMER made prose collect. At the end of the psalms 

not that : are versions of Te Deum, Benedictus, 

Nor no suche false fabels fell ever from Quicunque vult, &c. &c. 

his pen, i Day had a license, June 3d, 1561, 

Nor from his hart or mouth, as knoe to print the psalms in metre. Ames, p. 

mani honest men. 238. 


With golden stringes such harmonie 

His harpe so sweete did wrest, 
That he relievd his phrenesie 

Whom wicked sprites possest k . 

Whatever might at first have been his design, it is certain that his 
version, although printed, was never published ; and notwithstanding 
the formality of his metrical preface above-mentioned, which was pro- 
fessedly written to show the spiritual efficacy or virtue of the psalms 
in metre, and in which he directs a distinct and audible mode of con- 
gregational singing, he probably suppressed it, because he saw that the 
practice had been abused to the purposes of fanaticism, and adopted by 
the puritans in contradiction to the national worship; or at least that 
such a publication, whatever his private sentiments might have been, 
would not have suited the nature and dignity of his high office in the 
church. Some of our musical antiquaries, however, have justly con- 
jectured, that the archbishop, who was skilled in music, and had for- 
merly founded a music-school in his college of Stoke Clare*, intended 
these psalms, which are adapted to complicated tunes of four parts, 
probably constructed by himself, and here given in score, for the use 
of cathedrals ; at a time, when compositions in counterpoint were un- 
common in the church, and when that part of our choir-service called 
the motet or anthem, which admits a more artificial display of harmony, 
and which is recommended and allowed in queen Elizabeth's earliest 
ecclesiastical injunctions, was yet almost unknown, or but in a very 
imperfect state. Accordingly, although the direction is not quite com- 
prehensible, he orders many of them to be sung by the rector chori, or 
chantor, and the quier, or choir, alternately. That at least he had a 
taste for music, we may conclude from the following not inelegant 
scale f of modulation, prefixed to his eight tunes above-mentioned. 

k He thus remonstrates against the be students in some college in Cam- 
secular ballads : bridge." Hist, of Music, iii. 508. PARK.] 

f [This scale, however elegant," says 
Ye songes so nice, ye sonnets all, Mr ^ shb wil , pot a]one * ove Arcfj _ 

Of lothly lovers layes bish Parker . s ri ht to this version of 

Ye worke mens myndes but bitter gall the ^ becauge ifc . g n<)t on , ,. k 

By phansies peevish playes. {n generalj that the translator would be ' a 

* [In the county of Suffolk. From lover of music, but it so happens that the 

the statutes of which college, as framed other claimant, John Keeper, had studied 

by Dr. Parker, Sir John Hawkins has music and poetry at Wells." I presume 

given the following curious extract : that the following extract from the arch- 

" Item to be found in the college, hence- bishop's diary will establish his claim to 

forth a number jf quiristers, to the num- the performance. " This 6 August (his 

ber of eight or ten or more, as may be birth-day), Ann. Dom. 1557, I persist in 

borne conveniently of the stock, to have the same constancy, upholden by the grace 

sufficient meat, drink, broth, and learn- and goodness of my Lord and Saviour 

ing. Of which said quiristers, after their Jesus Christ; by whose inspiration I have 

breasts (i. e. voices) be changed, we will finished the Book of Psalms, turned into 

the most apt of wit and capacity be vulgar verse." (Strype's Lite of Arch- 

helpen with exhibition of forty shillings, bishop Parker.) "Vulgar" here means 

four marks, or three pounds a-piece, to vernacular ; as in the ministration of bap- 




The first is meke, devout to see, 
The second sad, in maiesty : 
The third doth rage, and roughly brayth, 
The fourth doth fawne, and flattry playth : 
The fifth deligth, and laugheth the more, 
The sixth bewayleth, it wepeth full sore : 
The seventh tredeth stoute in froward race, 
The eyghte goeth milde in modest pace." 

What follows is another proof, that he had proposed to introduce 
these psalms into the choir-service. " The tenor of these partes be 
for the people when they will syng alone, the other partes put for the 
greater quiers, or to suche as will syng or play them privately 1 ." 

How far this memorable prelate, perhaps the most accomplished 
scholar that had yet filled the archbishoprick of Canterbury, has suc- 
ceeded in producing a translation of the psalter preferable to the com- 
mon one, the reader may judge from these stanzas of a psalm highly 
poetical, in which I have exactly preserved the translator's peculiar use 
of the hemistic punctuation. 

To feede my neede : he will me leade 

To pastures greene and fat : 
He forth brought me : in libertie, 
. To waters delicate. 

My soule and hart : he did convart, 

To me he shewth the path : 
Of right wisness : in holiness, 

His name such vertue hath. 
Yea though I go : through Death his wo 

His vale and shadow wyde : 
I feare no dart : with me thou art 

With rod and staife to guide. 

tism, the sponsors are directed to let the Lincoln ; now from henceforth all the 

child be taught the creed, &c. in the whole realm shall have but one use." 

" vulgar tongue." And in the prefix to But this is said in reference to the chants, 

Drant's version of the Satires of Horace responds, suffrages, versicles, introites, 

" I have englished thinges not accordyng kyrie-eleeysons, doxologies, and other 

to the vain of the Latin proprietie, but of melodies of the Book of Common Prayer, 

our own vulgar tongue." PARK.] then newly published under lawful author- 

1 As the singing-psalms were never a ity, with musical notes by Marbeck, and 

part of our liturgy, no rubrical directions which are still used ; that no arbitrary 

are any where given for the manner of variations should be made in the manner 

performing them. In one of the Prefaces, of singing these melodies, as had been 

written about 1550, it is ordered, "Where- lately the case with the Roman missal, in 

as heretofore there hath been great diver- performing which some cathedrals affect- 

sitie of saying and singing in churches ed a manner of their own. The Salisbury 

within this realm, some following Salis- missal was most famous and chiefly fol- 

bury use, some Hereford use, some the lowed, 
use of Bangor, some of York, some of 


Thou shalt provyde : a table wyde, 

For me against theyr spite : 
With oyle my head : thou hast bespred, 

My cup is fully dight. m 

I add, in the more sublime character, a part of the eighteenth psalm, 
in which Sternhold is supposed to have exerted his powers most suc- 
cessfully, and without the interruptions of the pointing, which perhaps 
was designed for some regulations of the music, now unknown. 

The earth did shake, for feare did quake, 

The hils theyr bases shooke ; 
Removed they were, in place most fayre, 

At God's ryght fearfull looke. 

Darke smoke rose to hys face therefro, 

Hys mouthe as fire consumde, 
That coales as it were kyndled bright 

When he in anger fumde. 

The heavens full lowe he made to bowe, 

And downe dyd he ensue"; 
And darkness great was undersete 

His feete in clowdy hue. 

He rode on hye, and dyd so flye, 

Upon the Cherubins ; 
He came in sight, and made his flight 

Upon the wyng of wyndes. 

The Lorde from heaven sent downe his leaven 

And thundred thence in ire; 
He thunder cast in wondrous blast 

With hayle and coales of fyre. 

Here is some degree of spirit, and a choice of phraseology. But on 
the whole, and especially for this species of stanza, Parker will be found 
to want facility, and in general to have been unpractised in writing 
English verses. His abilities were destined to other studies, and adapt- 
ed to employments of a more archiepiscopal nature. 

The industrious Strype, Parker's biographer, after a diligent search 
never could gain a sight of this translation*; nor is it even mentioned 
by Ames, the inquisitive collector of our typographical antiquities. In 
the late Mr. West's library there was a superb copy, once belonging to 

m Fol. 13. By Sir John Hawkins the discovery was 

n follow. announced. Mr. Todd describes a copy 

Fol. 35. very curiously bound in the church library 

* [Neither did bishop Tanner; nor does of Canterbury. See his Milton, vi. 1 16. 

Dr. Burney, in speaking of it in his Histo- PARK.] 

ry of Music, appear to have seen any copy. 



bishop Kennet, who has remarked in a blank page, that the archbishop 
permitted his wife dame Margaret to present the book to some of the 
nobility. It is certainly at this time extremely scarce, and would be 
deservedly deemed a fortunate acquisition to those capricious students 
who labour only to collect a library of rarities. Yet it is not generally 
known, that there are two copies in the Bodleian library of this anony- 
mous version, which have hitherto been given to an obscure poet by 
the name of John Keeper. One of them, in 1643, appears to have 
been the property of bishop Barlow ; and on the opposite side of the 
title, in somewhat of an ancient hand, is this manuscript insertion : "The 
auctor of this booke is one John Keeper*, who was brought upp in the 
close of Wells." Perhaps Antony Wood had no better authority than 
this slender unauthenticated note, for saying that John Keeper, a na- 
tive of Somersetshire, and a graduate at Oxford in the year 1564, and 
who afterwards studied music and poetry at Wells, translated The whole 
Psalter into English metre which containeth 150psalms, etc. printed at 
London by John Day living over Aldersgate, about 1570 [1574-], in 
quarto : and added thereunto The Gloria Patri, Te Deum, The Song 
of the three Children, Quicunque vult, Benedictus, &c. all in metre. At 
the end of which, are musical notes set in four parts to several psalms. 
What other things, he adds, of poetry, music, or other faculties, he has 
published, I know not ; nor any thing more ; yet I suppose he had some 
dignity in the church of Wells P. If this version should really be the 
work of Keeper, I fear we are still to seek for archbishop Parker's 
psalms f, with Strype and Ames**. 

* [John Keeper, or Kepyer, occurs in unique, and therefore claimed an entire 
the " Arbor of Amitie, wherein is com- perusal : 
prised pleasant poems & pretie poesies, when first , ^ care]egse 

set *? Z i " ". owe T ' g r IT' U P" th y hue that drew the ^art, 

anno 156S " Imprinted at London, by H. ^ * sho uldest Ive 

Denham 1 2mo, b. 1. Dedicated to Ladie SQ e J^ downe in 

Anne Talbot Among the recommenda- j wouW J, fame f 

tory copies of verses is one signed "John free estate .* 

Keeper, student. See also "J. K. to his 

friend H." fol. 27 a. and "H. to K." ibid. As birde alurde in winters sore, 

Again, fol. 33 b. 34 a. 38, 39, &c. On limed twigges that often bee, 

Howell had another volume of verses in Thinkes he is free as late before 

Pearson's collection, entitled "Devises for Untill he 'sayes his flight to flee : 

his owne exercise and his Friends plea- He cries, he flies, in vaine he tries, 

sure," printed in 1581, 4to. The first of On twigge in bondage there he lies. 

these occurs in the Bodleian library, and So , b lure of th d 

denotes him to have had a contraction of That thought my hart at Hbertie, 

metrical spirit, which fitly adapted itself Was t unwares by f ea turde face, 

to posies for rings ; ex. gr. with most extreme cap tivitie : 

As flowres freshe to-day, A Beautie hath me bondman made, 

To-morrow in decay ; By love sincere, that shall not vade. 

Such is th' uncertaine stay / i 9 PARK 1 

That man hath here alway. P Ath Oxon< j 18L 

The following lines from a poem wherein f [This suggestion of Mr. Warton drew 

a lover " describes his loss of liberty and forth the following satisfactory investiga- 

craves return of love," are the very best I tion, it is conjectured, from the Rev. Dr. 

could trace in the volume, which is deemed Lort, who was chaplain to the archbishop 


A considerable contributor to the metrical theology was Robert 
Crowley, educated in Magdalene college at Oxford, where he obtained 
a fellowship in 154-2. In the reign of Edward the Sixth, he commenced 
printer and preacher in London. He lived in Ely-rents in Holborn ; 
" where," says Wood, " he sold books, and at leisure times exercised 
the gift of preaching in the great city and elsewhere 1 "." In 1550 he 
printed the first edition of PIERCE PLOWMAN'S VISION, but with the 
ideas of a controversialist, and with the view of helping forward the 
reformation by the revival of a book which exposed the absurdities of 
popery in strong satire, and which at present is only valuable or use- 
ful, as it serves to gratify the harmless researches of those peaceable 
philosophers who study the progression of ancient literature. His pul- 
pit and his press, those two prolific sources of faction, happily co-ope- 
rated in propagating his principles of predestination ; and his shop and 
his sermons were alike frequented. Possessed of those talents which 
qualified him for captivating the attention and moving the passions of 
the multitude, under queen Elizabeth he held many dignities in a 
church, whose doctrines and polity his undiscerning zeal had a tend- 
ency to destroy. He translated into popular rhyme, not only the 
psalter, but the litany, with hymns, all which he printed together in 
1549. In the same year, and in the same measure, he published Tfte 
Voice of the last Trumpet blown by the seventh angel. This piece con- 
tains twelve several lessons, for the instruction or amendment of those 
who seemed at that time chiefly to need advice ; and among whom he 
enumerates lewd priests, scholars, physicians, beggars, yeomen, gentle- 
men, magistrates, and women. He also attacked the abuses of his age 
in thirty-one EPIGRAMS, first printed in 1551. The subjects are placed 
alphabetically. In his first alphabet are Abbayes, Alehouses, Alleys, 
and Almeshouses. The second, Bailiffs, Bawds, Beggars, Bear-bayt- 
ing, and Brawlers. They display, but without spirit or humour, the 
reprehensible practices and licentious manners which then prevailed. 
He published in 1551 a kind of metrical sermon on Pleasure and Pain, 
Heaven and Hell. Many of these, to say nothing of his almost innu- 

of Canterbury : "In the Lambeth library Margaret Parker's name written in it, for 
is a beautiful copy of this edition of the she died (as Strype tells us) in 1570: and 
Psalms, on the back of the title of which if the book was printed in this or the fore- 
is written ' to the right vertuouse and going year, Keeper could not (according 
honorable Ladye the Countesse of Shrews- to Antony Wood's account of him) be 
burye,from your lovinge frende, Margaret above 22 or 23 years of age. So that I 
Parker.' This is written in the hand of think archbishop Parker may still keep 
the time when she lived ; and the binding his title to this version of the Psalms, till 
of the book, which is richly gilded, seems a stronger than Keeper shall be found to 
also of the same date. But there is no dispossess him." Gent. Mag. for 1781. 
date to the book, and where Antony Wood p. 567. PARK.] 

found that of 1570 for his copy, if it was q There is a metrical English version of 

of the same book with this, we are yet to the Psalms among the Cotton manuscripts 

seek. If that date really belongs to it, it about the year 1320, which has merit, 

cannot probably be the same edition with See also supr. vol. i. p. 22. 

that in the Lambeth library, which has r Ath. Oxon. i. 235. 


merable controversial tracts in prose, had repeated editions, and from 
his own press. But one of his treatises, to prove that Lent is a human 
invention and a superstitious institution, deserves notice for its plan : 
it is a Dialogue between Lent and Liberty. The personification of 
Lent is a bold and a perfectly new prosopopeia. In an old poem* of 
this age against the papists, written by one doctor William Turner, a 
physician, but afterwards dean of Wells, the Mass, or mistress MISSA, 
is personified, who, arrayed in all her meretricious trappings, must at 
least have been a more theatrical figure 3 . Crowley likewise wrote, and 
printed in 1588, a rhyming manual, The School of Vertue and Book of 
good Nurture. This is a translation into metre, of many of the less ex- 
ceptionable Latin hymns anciently used by the catholics, and still con- 
tinuing to retain among the protestants a degree of popularity. One 
of these begins, Jam Lucis orto sydere. At the end are prayers and 
graces in rhyme. This book, which in Wood's time had been degraded 
to the stall of the ballad-singer, and is now only to be found on the 
shelf of the antiquary, was intended to supersede or abolish the original 
Latin hymns, which were only offensive because they were in Latin, 
and which were the recreation of scholars in our universities after din- 
ner on festival days. At an archiepiscopal visitation of Merton college 
in Oxford, in the year 1562, it was a matter of inquiry, whether the 
superstitious hymns appointed to be sung in the Hall on holidays, were 
changed for the psalms in metre ; and one of the fellows is accused of 
having attempted to prevent the singing of the metrical Te Deum in 
the refectory on All-saints day *. 

It will not be foreign to our purpose to remark here, that when doc- 
tor Cosins, prebendary of Durham, afterwards bishop, was cited before 
the parliament in 1640, for reviving or supporting papistic usages in 
his cathedral, it was alleged against him, that he had worn an embroi- 
dered cope, had repaired some ruinous cherubims, had used a conse- 
crated knife for dividing the sacramental bread, had renovated the blue 
cap and golden beard of a little image of Christ on bishop Hatfield's 
tomb, had placed two lighted tapers on the altar which was decorated 
with emblematic sculpture, and had forbidden the psalms of Sternhold 
and Hopkins to be sung in the choir". 

* [My late friend Mr. Fillingham, who Doctor Porphyry, 

underwent the task of framing an Index Sir Philip Philargirye." PARK.] 

to Warton's History, pointed out that this s See Strype, Eccl. Mem. ii. p. 138. See 

was not a poem, but a Dialogue in prose, the speakers in Ochin's Dialogue against 

entitled "The Examination of the Masse." the Pope, Englished by Poynet, printed 

The speakers are, in 1549. Strype, ibid. 198. 

"Mastres Missa. t Strype's Parker, B. 11. Ch. ii. pag. 

Master Knowledge. 116, 117. Compare Life of Sir Thomas 

Master Fremouth. Pope, 2nd edit. p. 354. 
Master Justice of the peace. u Neale's Hist. Purit. vol. ii. ch. vii. 

Peter Preco, the Cryer. pag. 387. edit. 1733. Nalson's Collections, 

Palemon, the Judge. vol. i. pag. 789. 



Tf/es Acts of the Apostles in rhyme. His merit as a Musician* Early 
piety of king Edward the Sixth. Controversial Ballads and Plays. 
Translation of the Bible. Its effects on our Language. Arthur Kel- 
tons Chronicle of the Brutes. First Drinking-song. Gammar Gur- 
tons Needle. 

BUT among the theological versifiers of these times, the most notable is 
Christopher Tye, a doctor of music at Cambridge in 1545, and musical 
preceptor to prince Edward, and probably to his sisters the princesses 
Mary and Elizabeth. In the reign of Elizabeth he was organist of the 
royal chapel, in which he had been educated. To his profession of 
music he joined some knowledge of English literature ; and having 
been taught to believe that rhyme and edification were closely con- 
nected, and being persuaded that every part of the Scripture would be 
more instructive and better received if reduced into verse, he projected 
a translation of the ACTS OF THE APOSTLES into familiar metre. It 
appears that the BOOK OF KINGS had before been versified, which for 
many reasons was more capable of shining under the hands of a trans- 
lator. But the most splendid historical book, I mean the most suscep- 
tible of poetic ornament, in the Old or New Testament, would have be- 
come ridiculous when clothed in the fashionable ecclesiastical stanza. 
Perhaps the plan of setting a narrative of this kind to music was still 
more preposterous and exceptionable. However, he completed only 
the first fourteen chapters; and they were printed in 1553, by William 
Serres, with the following title, which, by the reader who is not ac- 
quainted with the peculiar complexion of this period, will hardly be 
suspected to be serious : " The ACTES OF THE APOSTLES translated into 
Englyshe metre, and dedicated to the kinges most excellent maiestye 
by Cristofer Tye, doctor in musyke, and one of the Gentylmen of hys 
graces most honourable Chappell, with notes to eche chapter to synge 
and also to play upon the Lute, very necessarye for studentes after 
theyr studye to fyle their wittes, and alsoe for all Christians that cannot 
synge, to reade the good and godlye storyes of the lives of Christ his 
apostles." It is dedicated in Sternhold's stanza, "To the vertuous and 
godlye learned prynce Edward the Sixth." As this singular dedication 
contains, not only anecdotes of the author and his work, but of his ma- 
jesty's eminent attention to the study of the scripture, and of his skill 
in playing on the lute, I need not apologise for transcribing a few dull 
stanzas ; especially as they will also serve as a specimen of the poet's 
native style and manner, unconfined by the fetters of translation. 


Your Grace may note, from tyme to tyme, 

That some doth undertake 
Upon the Psalms to write in ryme, 

The verse plesaunt to make : 

And some doth take in hand to wryte 

Out of the Booke of Kynges ; 
Because they se your Grace delyte 

In suche like godlye thynges a . 

And last of all, I youre poore man, 

Whose doinges are full base, 
Yet glad to do the best I can 

To give unto your Grace, 

Have thought it good now to recyte 

The stories of the Actes 
Even of the Twelve, as Luke doth wryte, 

Of all their worthy factes. 

Unto the text I do not ad, 

Nor nothyng take awaye ; 
And though my style be gros and bad, 

The truth perceyve ye may. ^ 

My callynge is another waye, 

Your Grace shall herein fynde 
By notes set forth to synge or playe, 

To recreate the mynde. 

And though they be not curious b , 

But for the letter mete ; 
Ye shall them fynde harmonious, 

And eke pleasaunt and swete. 

A young monarch singing the ACTS OF THE APOSTLES in verse to 
his lute, is a royal character of which we have seldom heard. But he 

That such good thynges your Grace might move 

Your Lute when ye assay e, 
In stede of songes of wanton love, 
These stories then to play. 

a Strype says, that " Sternhold com- his publication and dedication of them to 

posed several psalms at first for his own the said king." Eccles. Memor. B. i. ch. 

solace ; for he set and sung them to his 2. p. 86. 

organ. Which music king Edward VI. b That is, they are plain and unisonous ; 

sometime hearing, for he was a Gentle- the established character of this sort of 

man of the privy-chamber, was much music, 
delighted wiu\them; which occasioned 


So shall your Grace plese God the lorde 

In walkyng in his waye, 
His lawes and statutes to recorde 

In your heart night and day. 

And eke your realme shall florish styll, 

No good thynge shall decaye, 
Your subjectes shall with right good will, 

These wordes recorde and saye : 

" Thy lyf, O kyng, to us doth shyne, 

As God's boke doth thee teache ; 
Thou dost us feede with such doctrine 

As Christes elect dyd preache." 

From this sample of his original vein, my reader will not perhaps 
hastily predetermine, that our author has communicated any consi- 
derable decorations to his ACTS OF THE APOSTLES in English verse. 
There is as much elegance and animation in the two following initial 
stanzas of the fourteenth chapter, as in any of the whole performance, 
which I shall therefore exhibit : 

It chaunced in Iconium, 

As they c oft tymes did use, 
Together they into did come 

The Sinagoge of Jewes ; 

Where they did preache and only seke 

God's grace them to atcheve ; 
That they so spake to Jew and Greke 

That many did bileve. 

Doctor Tye's ACTS OF THE APOSTLES were sung for a time in the 
royal chapel of Edward the Sixth ; but they never became popular*. 
The impropriety of the design, and the impotency of the execution f, 
seem to have been perceived even by his own prejudiced and undis- 
cerning age. This circumstance, however, had probably the fortunate 

c Apostles. tion of the work "impotent." Dr. Tye, 

* [Nash said, in 1596, "Dr. Tye was in disclaiming for his performance the 

a famous musitian some few years since." epithet " curious," could only mean that 

See Have with you to Saffron Waldon. he had not made it merely a vehicle for 

PARK.] the display of the intricacies of harmony ; 

f [Warton's estimate of the musical for, although much of it is written in sim- 

character and merits of Tye's work is pie counterpoint, it exhibits frequent in- 

altogether erroneous. So far from being stances of fugue and even of canon. Of 

*' unisonous," it is throughout in four the latter a very beautiful example will be 

parts ; nor was this " the established cha- found in the ninth chapter. And, withal, 

racter of this sort of music" at that time. there is such a graceful flow of melody 

In point of fact it was just the reverse : pervading the composition, that the mu- 

Tallis, Tye, Bird, Farrant were pro- sician even of the nineteenth century 

found harmonists, and music with them listens to it with unabated delight. Much 

constantly assumed a combined and com- of it is worthy, as it is in the style, of its 

plicated never a unisonous character. author's illustrious Italian cotemporary, 

Equally erroneous is it to call the execu- Palestrina. E. T.] 


and seasonable effect of turning Tye's musical studies to another and 
a more rational system ; to the composition of words judiciously selected 
from the prose psalms in four or five parts. Before the middle of the 
reign of Elizabeth, at a time when the more ornamental and intricate 
music wanted in our service, he concurred with the celebrated 
Tallis and a few others in setting several anthems, which are not only 
justly supposed to retain much of the original strain of our ancient 
choral melody before the Reformation, but in respect of harmony, ex- 
pression, contrivance, and general effect, are allowed to be perfect 
models of the genuine ecclesiastic style. Fuller informs us, that Tye 
was the chief restorer of the loss which the music of the church had 
sustained by the destruction of the monasteries 11 . Tye also appears to 
have been a translator of Italian. The History of Nastagio and Tra- 
versari translated out of Italian into English by C. T., perhaps Chri- 
stopher Tye, was printed at London in 1569 e . 

It is not my intention to pursue any further the mob of religious 
rhymers, who, from principles of the most unfeigned piety, devoutly 
laboured to darken the lustre, and enervate the force, of the divine 
pages. And perhaps I have been already too prolix in examining a 
species of poetry, if it may be so called, which even impoverishes prose ; 
or rather, by mixing the style of prose with verse, and of verse with 
prose, destroys the character and effect of both. But in surveying the 
general course of a species of literature, absurdities as well as excel- 
lencies, the weakness and the vigour of the human mind, must have 
their historian. Nor is it unpleasing to trace and to contemplate those 
strange incongruities, and false ideas of perfection, which at various 
times, either affectation, or caprice, or fashion, or opinion, or prejudice, 
or ignorance, or enthusiasm, present to the conceptions of men, in the 
shape of truth. 

I must not, however, forget, that king Edward the Sixth is to be 
ranked among the religious poets of his own reign. Fox has published 
his metrical instructions concerning the eucharist, addressed to sir An- 
tony Saint Leger. Bale also mentions his comedy called the WHORE 
OF BABYLON, which Holland the heroologist, who perhaps had never 

d Worthies, ii. 244. Tallis here men- to observe, that John Mardiley, clerk of 

tioned, at the beginning of the reign of the king's Mint, called Si/jfolk-house in 

Elizabeth, and by proper authority, en- Southwark, translated twenty- four of Da- 

riched the music of Marbeck's liturgy. vid's Psalms into English verse, about 

He set to music the Te Deiim, Benedictus, 1550. He wrote also Religious Hymns. 

Magnificat, Nunc dimittis, and other of- Bale, par. post. p. 106. There is extant 

fices, to which Marbeck had given only his Complaint against the stiff-necked pa~ 

the canto firmo, or plain chant. He com- pist in verse, Lond. by T. Reynold, 1548. 

posed a new Litany still in use ; and im- Svo. and a Short Resytal of certyne holie 

proved the simpler modulation of Mar- doctors f agn\nst the real presence, collected 

beck's Suffrages, Kyries after the Com- in myter [metre] by John Mardiley. Lond. 

mandments, and other versicles, as they 12mo. See another of his pieces on the 

are sung at present. There are two chants same subject, and in rhyme, presented and 

of Tallis, one to the Venite Kxullemus, and dedicated to queen Elizabeth, MSS. Reg. 

another to the Athanasian Creed. 17 B. xxxvii. The Protector Somerset was 

e In duodecimo. I had almost forgot his patron. 


seen it, and knew not whether it was a play or a ballad, in verse or 
prose, pronounces to be a most elegant performance f . Its elegance, 
with some, will not perhaps apologise or atone for its subject ; and it 
may seem strange, that controversial ribaldry should have been suf- 
fered to enter into the education of a great monarch. But the genius, 
habits, and situation of his age should be considered. The reforma- 
tion was the great political topic of Edward's court. Intricate discus- 
sions in divinity were no longer confined to the schools or the clergy. 
The new religion, from its novelty, as well as importance, interested 
every mind, and was almost the sole object of the general attention. 
Men emancipated from the severities of a spiritual tyranny, reflected 
with horror on the slavery they had so long suffered, and with exulta- 
tion on the triumph they had obtained. These feelings were often ex- 
pressed in a strain of enthusiasm. The spirit of innovation which had 
seized the times, often transgressed the bounds of truth. Every change 
of religion is attended with those ebullitions, which growing more mo- 
derate by degrees, afterwards appear eccentric and ridiculous. 

We who live at a distance from this great and national struggle be- 
tween popery and protestantism, when our church has been long and 
peaceably established, and in an age of good sense, of politeness and 
philosophy, are apt to view these effusions of royal piety as weak and 
unworthy the character of a king. But an ostentation of zeal and ex- 
ample in the young Edward, as it was natural, so it was necessary, while 
the reformation was yet immature. It was the duty of his preceptors, 
to impress on his tender years, an abhorrence of the principles of Rome, 
and a predilection to that happy system which now seemed likely to 
prevail. His early diligence, his inclination to letters, and his serious- 
ness of disposition, seconded their active endeavours to cultivate and 
to bias his mind in favour of the new theology, which was now become 
the fashionable knowledge. These and other amiable virtues his co- 
temporaries have given young Edward in an eminent degree. But it 
may be presumed, that the partiality which youth always commands, 
the specious prospects excited by expectation, and the flattering pro- 
mises of religious liberty secured to a distant posterity, have had some 
small share in dictating his panegyric. 

The new settlement of religion, by counteracting inveterate preju- 
dices of the most interesting nature, by throwing the clergy into a state 
of contention, and by disseminating theological opinions among the 
people, excited so general a ferment, that even the popular ballads and 
the stage, were made the vehicles of the controversy between the papal 
and protestant communions g . 

f Heroolog. p. 27. [Qu. whether Hoi- B See instances of rhyming libels al- 

land might not have mistakingly read a ready given, before the Reformation had 

play with the same title published in 1607 actually taken place, in the present vo- 

by Decker, and have applauded it as a lume, p. 130. et seq. 
royal production ? PARK.] 


The Ballad of LUTHER, the POPE, a CARDINAL, and a HUSBAND- 
MAN, written in 1550, in defence of the reformation, has some spirit, 
and supports a degree of character in the speakers. There is another 
written about the same time, which is a lively satire on the English 
Bible, the vernacular liturgy, and the book of homilies 11 . The measure 
of the last is that of PIERCE PLOWMAN, with the addition of rhyme ; a 
sort of versification which now was not uncommon. 

Strype has printed a poem called the PORE HELP*, of the year 1550, 
which is a lampoon against the new preachers or gospellers, not very 
elegant in its allusions, and in Skelton's style. The anonymous satirist 
mentions with applause Mayster Huggarde^ or Miles Hoggard, a shoe- 
maker of London, and who wrote several virulent pamphlets against 
the reformation, which were made important by extorting laboured 
answers from several eminent divines 1 . He also mentions a nobler 
clarke, whose learned Balad in defence of the holy Kyrke had triumphed 
over all the raillery of its numerous opponents k . The same industrious 
annalist has also preserved A song on bishop Latimer, in the octave 
rhyme, by a poet of the same persuasion 1 ; and in the catalogue of 
modern English prohibited books delivered in 1542 to the parish priests, 
to the intent that their authors might be discovered and punished, there 
is the Burying of the Mass in English rithme. But it is not my in- 
tention to make a full and formal collection of these fugitive religious 
pasquinades, which died with their respective controversies. 

In the year 1547, a proclamation was published to prohibit preaching. 
This was a temporary expedient to suppress the turbulent harangues of 
the catholic ministers, who still composed no small part of the parochial 
clergy ; for the court of augmentations took care perpetually to supply 
the vacant benefices with the disincorporated monks, in order to exo- 
nerate the exchequer from the payment of their annuities. These men, 
both from inclination and interest, and hoping to restore the church to 
its ancient orthodoxy and opulence, exerted all their powers of decla- 

b See Percy, Ball. ii. 102. These yonkers for to hyt 

* [My erudite friend Mr. Douce, who is And wyll not them permyt 

supposed to possess the only ancient copy In errour styll to syt, 

of this little libel now remaining, thinks it As it maye well speare 

was probably written by Skelton. The fpl- By his clarkely answere 

lowing is its title : " A PORE HELPE. The whiche intitled is 

The bukler and defence A ^ nst what meaneth ^.-PARK.] 

Of mother holy Kyrke, ' One of these pieces is, " A Confuta- 

And wepon to drive hence tion to the answer of a wicked ballad," 

Al that against her wircke." printed in 1550. Crowley above men- 

L, . . ii-,. r 4. tioned wrote " A Confutation of Miles 

Herbert in his genera history of print- 

ng, , has blended this title with he poem g* transubrtantiation of the Sacra- 

itself, from which it nqrwflM to extract Lond 154g octavo> 

the passage relating to Miles Hoggard: k gtrype, Eccl. Mem. ii. Append, i. 

And also Maister Huggarde p. 34. 

Doth shewe hymselfe no sluggarde, 1 Ibid. vol. 5. Append, xliv. p. 121. 

Nor yet no dronken druggarde, m Burnet, Hist. Kef. vol. i. Rec. Num. 

But sharpeth up his wyt xxvi. p. 257. 

And frameth it so fyt 


mation in combating the doctrines of protestantism, and in alienating 
the minds of the people from the new doctrines and reformed rites of 
worship. Being silenced by authority, they had recourse to the stage; 
and from the pulpit removed their polemics to the play-house. Their 
farces became more successful than their sermons. The people flocked 
eagerly to the play-house, when deprived not only of their ancient pa- 
geantries, but of their pastoral discourses, in the church. Archbishop 
Cranmer and the protector Somerset were the chief objects of these 
dramatic invectives". At length, the same authority which had checked 
the preachers, found it expedient to control the players ; and a new 
proclamation, which I think has not yet appeared in the history of the 
British drama, was promulgated in the following terms . The inquisi- 
tive reader will observe, that from this instrument plays appear to have 
been long before a general and familiar species of entertainment ; that 
they were acted not only in London but in the great towns ; that the 
profession of a player, even in our present sense, was common and 
established ; and that these satirical interludes are forbidden only in the 
English tongue. " Forasmuch as a great number of those that be 
COMMON PLAYERS of ENTERLUDEs and PLATES, as well within the 
city of London as elsewhere within the realm, doe for the most part 
play such ENTERLUDES, as contain matter tending to sedition, and 
contemning of sundry good orders and laws ; whereupon are grown 
and daily are likely to growe and ensue, much disquiet, division, tu- 
mults and uprores in this realm P: the Kinges Majesty, by the advice 

n Fuller, Ch. Hist. B. vii. Cent. xvi. 
p. 390. 

Dat. 3. Edw. VI. Aug. 8. 

9 It should, however, be remarked, 
that the reformers had themselves shown 
the way to this sort of abuse long before. 
Bale's comedy of The Three Laws, print- 
ed in 1538, is commonly supposed to be 
a Mystery, and merely doctrinal ; but it 
is a satirical play against popery, and 
perhaps the first of the kind in our lan- 
guage. I have mentioned it in general 
terms before, under Bale as a poet ; but I 
reserved a more particular notice of it for 
this place. [See the present volume, p. 78. 
etseq.] It is exceedingly scarce, and has 
this colophon : " Thus endeth thys Co- 
medy concernynge the thre lawes, of Na- 
ture, Moses, and Christ, corrupted by the 
Sodomytes, Pharisees, and Papystes, most 
wycked. Compyled by Johan Bale. 
Anno M. D. xxxvin. And lately im- 
prented per Nicolaum Bamburgensem." 
duod. It has these directions about the 
dresses, the first I remember to have seen, 
which show the scope and spirit of the 
piece. Signal. G. " The apparellynge of 
the six Vyces or fruytes of Infydelyte. 
Let Idolatry be decked lyke an olde 
wytche, Sodomy lyke a monke of all 

sectes, Ambycyon lyke a byshop, Cove- 
tousnesse lyke a Pharisee or spyrituall 
lawer, False Doctrine lyke a popysh doc- 
tour, and Hypocresy lyke a graye fryre. 
The rest of the partes are easye ynongh 
to conjecture." A scene in the second 
Act is thus opened by Infidelitas. 
"Post cantionem, Infidelitas alta voce 
dicat, OREMUS. Omnipotens sempi- 
terne Deus, qui ad imaginem et simili- 
tudinem nostram formasti laicos, da, 
qusesumus, ut sicut eorum sudoribus vi- 
vimus, ita eorum uxoribus, filiabus, et 
domicellis perpetuo frui mereamur, per 
dominum nostrum Papam." Bale, a 
clergyman, and at length a bishop in Ire- 
land, ought to have known, that this pro- 
fane and impious parody was more offen- 
sive and injurious to true religion than 
any part of the missal which he means 
to ridicule. Infidelity then begins in 
English verse a conversation with Lex 
Moysis, containing the most low and li- 
centious obscenity, which I am ashamed 
to transcribe, concerning the words of a 
Latin anteme, between an old fryre, or 
friar, with spectacles on hys nose, and dame 
Isabel an old nun, who crows Wee a capon. 
This is the most tolerable part of Infi- 
delity's dialogue. Signal. C. iiij. 


and consent of his dearest uncle Edward duke of Somerset, and the 
rest of his highnesse Privie Councell, straightly chargeth and com- 
raandeth all and everie his Majesties subjects, of whatsoever state, 
order, or degree they be, that from the ninth day of this present month 
of August untill the feast of All-saints next comming, they nor any of 
them, openly or secretly PLAY IN THE ENGLISH TONGUE, any kind of 
ENTERLUDE, PLAY, DIALOGUE, or other matter set forth in form of 
PLAY, in any place publick or private within this realm, upon pain, 
that whosoever shall PLAY in ENGLISH any such PLAY, ENTERLUDE, 
DIALOGUE, or other MATTER, shall suffer imprisonment, or other 
punishment at the pleasure of his Majestic C' But when the short 
date of this proclamation expired, the reformers, availing themselves of 
the stratagems of an enemy, attacked the papists with their own wea- 
pons. One of the comedies on the side of the reformation still remains 1 ". 
But the writer, while his own religion from its simple and impalpable 
form was much less exposed to the ridicule of scenic exhibition, has 
not taken advantage of that opportunity which the papistic ceremonies 
so obviously afforded to burlesque and drollery, from their visible 
pomp, their number, and their absurdities ; nor did he perceive an 
effect which he might have turned to his own use, suggested by the 
practice of his catholic antagonists in the drama, who, by way of re- 
commending their own superstitious solemnities, often made them con- 
temptible by theatrical representation. 

This piece is entitled, An Enterlude called LUSTY JUVENTUS: lively 
describing the Frailtie of youth: of Nature prone to vyce: by Grace 
and Good Councell traynable to vertue 5 . The author, of whom nothing 
more is known, was one R. Wever, as appears from the colophon : 
" Finis, quod R. Wever. Imprinted at London in Paules churche yarde 

It was a good world, when we had sech And I wyll rays up in the unyversitees 

wholsome storyes The seven sleepers there, to advance the 

Preached in our churche, on sondayes pope's decrees : 

and other feryes 1 . As Dorbel, and Duns, Durande, and 

With us was it merye Thomas of Aquyne, 

When we went to Berye 2 , The Mastre of Sentens, with Bachon the 

And to our Lady of Grace : great devyne : 

To the Bloud of Hayles Henricus de Gandavo : and these shall 

Where no good chere fayles, read ad Clerum, 

And other holye place. Aristotle, and Albert de secretis muli- 

When the prests myght walke, erum ' 

And with yonge wyves talke, With the commentaryes of Avicen and 

Then had we chyldren plentye ; Averoyes, &c. 

Then cuckoldes myght leape ' q Fuller> ibid. p. 391. See also Stat. 

A score on a heape, 2 , 3. Edw. VI. A.D. 1548. Gibs. Cod. i. 

ISowis there not one to twentye. p. 261. edit. 1761. 

When te monkes were fatte, &c. r See gupr yol> jj pp 2 3. 503. 536. 

In another place, the old philosophy et^ seq. and Gibs. Cod. i. p. 191. edit, 

is ridiculed. Signal. E. v. where Hypo- 1761. 

crisy says, s See Hawkins's Old Plays, i. p. 135. 

holidays. - Bury Saint Edmunds. 


by Abraham Vele at the signe of the Lambe." Hypocrisy is its best 
character, who laments the loss of her superstitions to the devil, and 
recites a long catalogue of the trumpery of the popish worship in the 
metre and manner of Skelton t . The chapter and verse of Scripture 
are often announced; and in one scene, a personage, called GOD'S 
MERCYFULL PROMISES, cites Ezekiel as from the pulpit: 

The Lord by his prophet Ezekiel sayeth in this wise playnlye, 
As in the xxiii chapter it doth appere : 
Be converted, O ye children^ &c. u 

From this interlude we learn, that the young men, which was natu- 
ral, were eager to embrace the new religion, and that the old were un- 
willing to give up those doctrines and modes of worship, to which they 
had been habitually attached, and had paid the most implicit and reve- 
rential obedience, from their childhood. To this circumstance the 
devil, who is made to represent Scripture as a novelty, attributes the 
destruction of his spiritual kingdom. 

The old people would beleve stil in my lawes, 

But the yonger sort lead them a contrary way ; 

They wyll not beleve, they playnly say, 

In old traditions as made by men, 

But they wyll llyve as the Scripture teacheth them. v 

The devil then, in order to recover his interest, applies to his son 
Hypocrisy, who attempts to convert a young man to the ancient faith, 
and says that the Scripture can teach no more than that God is a good 
man w , a phrase which Shakspeare with great humour has put into the 
mouth of Dogberry x . But he adds an argument in jest, which the 
papists sometimes seriously used against the protestants, and which, if 
we consider the poet's ultimate intention, had better been suppressed : 

The world was never mery, 

Since children were so bolde : 

Now every boy will be a teacher, 

The father a foole, and the chyld a preacher.? 

It was among the reproaches of protestantism, that the inexperienced 
and the unlearned thought themselves at liberty to explain the Scrip- 
tures, arid to debate the most abstruse and metaphysical topics of theo- 
logical speculation. The two songs in the character of YOUTH, at the 
opening and close of this interlude, are flowery and not inelegant 2 . 

1 From Bale's Three Lawes above v Bale's Three Lawes, p. 133. 

mentioned, Sign. B. v. w Ibid. 141. [This phrase is from 

Here have I pratye gynnes, " Lu f y Juventus >" an . d gt even be a 

Both brouches, beades, and pynnes, popular expression prior to that play.- 
With soch as the people Wynnes 

Unto idolatryeV Much Ado, m 8. 

y Bale s Three Lawes, p. 143. 

u Ibid. p. 159. z Ibid. p. 121. 153. 


The protestants continued their plays in Mary's reign ; for Strype 
has exhibited a remonstrance from the Privy-council to the lord Pre- 
sident of the North, representing, that " certain lewd [ignorant*] 
persons, to the number of six or seven in a company, naming them- 
selves to be servants of sir Frauncis Lake, and wearing his livery or 
badge on their sleeves, have wandered about those north parts, and re- 
presenting certain Plays and Enterludes," reflecting on her majesty and 
king Philip, and the formalities of the mass a . These were family- 
minstrels or players, who were constantly distinguished by their master's 
livery or badge. 

When the English liturgy was restored at the accession of Elizabeth, 
after its suppression under Mary, the papists renewed their hostilities 
from the stage ; and again tried the intelligible mode of attack by 
ballads, farces, and interludes. A new injunction was then necessary, 
and it was again enacted in 1559, that no person, but under heavy 
forfeitures, should abuse the Common Prayer in " any Enterludes, 
Plays, songs or rimes b ." But under Henry the Eighth, so early as the 
year 1542, before the reformation was fixed or even intended on its 
present liberal establishment, yet when men had begun to discern and 
to reprobate many of the impostures of popery, it became an object of 
the legislature to curb the bold and seditious spirit of popular poetry. 
No sooner were the Scriptures translated and permitted in English, 
than they were brought upon the stage : they were not only misinter- 
preted and misunderstood by the multitude, but profaned or burlesqued 
in comedies and mummeries. Effectually to restrain these abuses, 
Henry, who loved to create a subject for persecution, who commonly 
proceeded to disannul what he had just confirmed, and who found that 
a freedom of inquiry tended to shake his ecclesiastical supremacy, 
framed a law, that not only Tyndale's English Bible, and all the print- 
ed English commentaries, expositions, annotations, defences, replies, 
and sermons, whether orthodox or heretical, which it had occasioned, 
should be utterly abolished ; but that the kingdom should also be 
purged and cleansed of all religious plays, interludes, rhymes, ballads, 
and songs, which are equally pestiferous and noysome to the peace of 
the church . 

Henry appears to have been piqued as an author and a theologist in 

* [So in Puttenham's Arte of Poesie, newly perused and amended. Translated 

" making the lewd we\l learned." PARK.] out of base Almayne into Englysh." 

a Eccl. Mem. iii. Append, lii. p. 185. Without date, in duodecimo. It seems 

Dat. 1556. Sir Francis Lake is ordered to have been printed abroad. Our author 

to correct his servants so offending. was the founder of one of the numerous 

One Henry Nicholas a native of Am- offsets of calvinistic fanaticism, called the 

sterdam, who imported his own transla- Family of Love, 
tions of many enthusiastic German books b Ann. i. Eliz. 

into England, about the year 1550, trans- c Stat. Ann. 34, 35. Henr. VIII. cap. i. 

lated and published, "CoMOEDiA,a worke Tyndale's Bible was printed at Paris 1536. 

in rhyme, conteyning an interlude of [I know not of any such. Mr. Warton 

Myndes witnessing man's fall from God must mean Mathews's in 1537. HER- 

and Cryst, set forth by H. N. and by him BERT.] 


adding the clause concerning his own INSTITUTION OF A CHRISTIAN 
MAN, which had been treated with the same sort of ridicule. Yet 
under the general injunction of suppressing all English books on reli- 
gious subjects, he formally excepts, among others, some not properly 
belonging to that class, such as the CANTERBURY TALES, the works of 
Chaucer and Gower, CHRONICLES, and STORIES OF MENS LIVES d . 
There is also an exception added about plays, and those only are allow- 
ed which were called MORALITIES, or perhaps interludes of real cha- 
racter and action, " for the rebuking and reproaching of vices and the 
setting forth of virtue." MYSTERIES are totally rejected 6 . The re- 
servations which follow, concerning the use of a corrected English 
Bible, which was permitted, are curious for their quaint partiality, and 
they show the embarrassment of administration, in the difficult business 
of confining that benefit to a few, from which all might reap advan- 
tage, but which threatened to become a general evil, without some de- 
grees of restriction. It is absolutely forbidden to be read or expound- 
ed in the church. The lord chancellor, the speaker of the house of 
commons, captaines of (he wars, justices of the peace, and recorders of 
cities, may quote passages to enforce their public harangues, as has 
been accustomed. A nobleman or gentleman may read it, in his house, 
orchards, or garden, yet quietly, and without disturbance " of good 
order." A merchant also may read it to himself private/?/. But the 
common people, who had already abused this liberty to the purpose of 
division and dissensions, and under the denomination of women, arti- 
ficers, apprentices, journeymen, and servingmen, are to be punished 
with one month's imprisonment, as often as they are detected in read- 
ing the Bible either privately or openly. 

It should be observed, that few of these had now learned to read. 
But such was the privilege of peerage, that ladies of quality might read 
" to themselves and alone, and not to others," any chapter either in the 
Old or New Testament f . This has the air of a sumptuary law, which 
indulges the nobility with many superb articles of finery, that are inter- 
dicted to those of inferior degree &. Undoubtedly the duchesses and 
countesses of this age, if not from principles of piety, at least from mo- 

d Stat. Ann. 34, 35. Henr.VlII. Artie, vii. A canon residentiary is to have a swan 

e Ibid. Artie, ix. only on a Sunday ; a rector of sixteen 

{ Ibid. Artie, x. seq. marks, only three blackbirds in a week. 

B And of an old DIETARIE FOR THE See a similar instrument, Strype's Parker, 

CLEKGY, I think by archbishop Cranmer, Append, p. 65. 

in which an archbishop is allowed to have In the British Museum, there is a beau- 
two swans or two capons in a dish, a bi- tiful manuscript on vellum of a French 
shop two ; an archbishop six blackbirds translation of the Bible, which was found 
at once, a bishop five, a dean four, an in the tent of king John, king of France, 
archdeacon two. If a dean has four dishes after the battle of Poictiers. Perhaps his 
in his first course, he is not afterwards to majesty possessed this book on the plan of 
have custards or fritters. An archbishop an exclusive royal right. [As perhaps 
may have six snipes, an archdeacon only there were few such copies in that great 
two. Rabbits, larks, pheasants, and par- kingdom, and very little spirit of reading 
tr'ulges, are allowed in these proportions. in the laity, ASHBY.] 



tives of curiosity, became eager to read a book which was made inac- 
cessible to three parts of the nation. But the partial distribution of a 
treasure to which all had a right could not long remain. This was a 
MANNA to be gathered by every man. The claim of the people was too 
powerful to be overruled by the bigotry, the prejudice, or the caprice 
of Henry. 

I must add here, in reference to my general subject, that the trans- 
lation of the Bible, which in the reign of Edward the Sixth was ad- 
mitted into the churches, is supposed to have fixed our language. It 
certainly has transmitted and perpetuated many ancient words which 
would otherwise have been obsolete or unintelligible. I have never 
seen it remarked, that at the same time this translation contributed to 
enrich our native English at an early period, by importing and fami- 
liarising many Latin words h . 

These were suggested by the Latin vulgate, which was used as a 
medium by the translators. Some of these, however, now interwoven 
into our common speech, could not have been understood by many 
readers even above the rank of the vulgar, when the Bible first appeared 
in English. Bishop Gardiner had therefore much less reason than we 
now imagine, for complaining of the too great clearness of the trans- 
lation, when with an insidious view of keeping the people in their an- 
cient ignorance, he proposed, that instead of always using English 
phrases, many Latin words should still be preserved, because they con- 
tained an inherent significance and a genuine dignity, to which the 
common tongue afforded no correspondent expressions of sufficient 
energy 1 . 

To the reign of Edward the Sixth belongs Arthur Kelton, a native 
of Shropshire or Wales. He wrote the CRONICLE OF THE BRUTES in 
English verse. It is dedicated to the young king, who seems to have 
been the general patron ; and was printed in 1547 k . Wood allows that 

h More particularly in the Latin deri- that the Brittons and Welshmen are line- 

vative substantives, such as, divination, allye dyscended from Brute. Newley and 

perdition, adoption, manifestation, conso- very wittely compyled in metre." Imp. 

lotion, contribution, administration, con- by Richard Grafton. It appears to have 

summation, reconciliation, operation, com- been written (he adds) in the time of king 

munication, retribution, preparation, im- Henry VIII., but he dying before it was 

mortality, principality, &c. &c. and in printed, the author then .dedicated it to 

other words, frustrate, inexcusable, trans- king Edward VI. Typ. Ant. i. 523. 

figure, concupiscence, &c. &c. Richard Harvey, the brother of Gabriel, 

1 Such as, idololatria, contritus, holo- published a prose tract in 1593, entitled 

causta, sacramcntum, elementa, humilitas, " Philadelphus, or a defence of Brutes 

satisfactio, ceremo?iia, absolutio, myste- and the Brutans history," but of Arthur 

rium, penitentia, &c. See Gardiner's pro- Kelton's work no notice is taken. It opens 

posals in Burnet, Hist. Ref. vol. i. B. iii. with a personal invective against Bucha- 

p. 315. And Fuller, Ch. Hist. B. v.Cent. nan for his rejection of the Brute tradi- 

xvi. p. 238. tion, proceeds with an affected division of 

k Lond. Octavo. [IGmo.] Pr. "In the his subject into three portions, which he 

golden time when all things." terms Anthropology, Chronology and To- 

[Herbert, who possessed a copy of the pography, and concludes with three sar- 

book, has thus imparted the title : " A castic " supposes of a student concerning 

Chronycle with a genealogie declaryng Historic." The tract is pompous, pedantic 


he was an able antiquary ; but laments, that he " being withall poetically 
given, must forsooth write and publish his lucubrations in verse; 
whereby, for rhime's sake, many material matters, and the due timing 
of them, are omitted, and so consequently rejected by historians and 
antiquarians 1 ." Yet he has not supplied his want of genealogical and 
historical precision with those strokes of poetry which his subject sug- 
gested ; nor has his imagination been any impediment to his accuracy. 
At the end of his CRONICLE is the GENEALOGY OF THE BRUTES, in 
which the pedigree of king Edward the Sixth is lineally drawn through 
thirty-two generations, from Osiris the first king of Egypt. Here too 
Wood reproaches our author for his ignorance in genealogy. But in an 
heraldic inquiry, so difficult and so new, many mistakes are pardonable. 
It is extraordinary that a Welshman should have carried his genealo- 
gical researches into Egypt, or rather should have wished to prove that 
Edward was descended from Osiris : but this was with a design to show, 
that the Egyptian monarch was the original progenitor of Brutus, the 
undoubted founder of Edward's family. Bale says that he wrote, and 
dedicated to sir William Herbert, afterwards earl of Pembroke, a most 
elegant poetical panegyric on the Cambro-Britons. But Bale's praises 
and censures are always regulated according to the religion of his 

The first CHANSON a BOIRE, or DRINKING-BALLAD, of any merit, 
in our language, appeared in the year 1551 *. It has a vein of ease 
and humour, which we should not expect to have been inspired by the 
simple beverage of those times. I believe I shall not tire my reader 
by giving it at length ; and am only afraid that in this specimen the 
transition will be thought too violent from the poetry of the puritans 
to a convivial and ungodlie ballad. 

I cannot eat but little meat, 

My stomach is not good ; 
But sure I think that I can drink 

With him that wears a hood n . 
Though I go bare, take ye no care, 

I nothing am a colde ; 
I stuffe my skin so full within, 

Of joly goode ale and olde. 

and silly. Warner, in his Albion's En- book, which contains a breviate of the 

gland, 1586, traces the genealogy of Brute history of jEneas to the birth of hisgrand- 

(the conqueror of this island, which from son Brutus. I do not observe, however, 

him " had Brutaine unto name") through that any reference is made by him to Ar- 

all the wild fictions of mythology and al- thur Kelton. PARK.] 

legory up to antediluvian origin, making ' Ath. Oxon. i. 73. 

him at once the grandson of ^Eneas, and m Bale, xi. 97. 

calculating his descent to be thrice five * [Corrected by Ritson to the year 1575. 

degrees from Noah, and four times six PARK.] 

from Adam. Warner's Chronicle is in "a monk. 

metre, except an addition to his second 



Backe and side go bare, go bare, 

Booth foot and hand go colde ; 
But, belly, God send thee good ale inoughe, 

Whether it be neiu or olde ! 

I love no rost, but a nut-browne toste, 

And a crab laid in the fire ; 
A little bread shall do me stead, 

Moche bread I noght desire. 
No frost, no snow, no winde, I trowe, 

Can hurt me if I wolde, 
I am so wrapt, and throwly lapt 

Of joly good ale and olde. 
Backe and side, &c. 

And TIB my wife, that as her life 

Loveth well good ale to seeke, 
Full oft drinkes shee, till ye may see 

The teares run downe her cheeke. 
Then doth she trowle to me the bowle 

Even as a mault-worm sholde ; 
And , saith, " Sweet heart, I tooke my part 

Of this joly good ale and olde." 
Backe and side, &c. 

Now let them drinke, till they nod and winke, 

Even as good fellows should do : 
They shall not misse to have the blisse 

Good ale doth bringe men to. 
And al goode sowles that have scoured bowles, 

Or have them lustely trolde, 
God save the lives of them and their wives, 

Whether they be yong or olde ! 
Backe and side, &c. 

This song opens the second act of GAMMER GURTON'S NEEDLE, a 
comedy, written and printed in 1551 p , and soon afterwards acted at 
Christ's College in Cambridge. In the title of the old edition it is said 
to have been written " by Mr. S.* master of artes," who probably was 
a member of that society. This is held to be the first comedy in our 
language ; that is, the first play which was neither Mystery nor Moral- 
ity, and which handled a comic story with some disposition of plot, 
and some discrimination of character Q. The writer has a degree of 

having drunk, she says. * [i. e. Still, afterwards bishop of Bath 

p On the authority of MSS. Oldys. A and Wells: from an original head, of whom 

valuable black-letter copy, in the posses- at Cambridge, Mr. Steevens had a plate 

sion of Mr. Steevens, is the oldest I have engraved, which, after a few impressions 

seen. [The play was acted before it was were taken off, he destroyed. PARK.] 
printed, and it was not printed till 1575. q See supr. vol. ii. p. 523. 



jocularity which sometimes rises above buffoonery, but is often disgraced 
by lowness of incident*. Yet in a more polished age he would have 
chosen, nor would he perhaps have disgraced, a better subject. It has 
been thought surprising that a learned audience could have endured 
some of these indelicate scenes. But the established festivities of scho- 
lars were gross, and agreeable to their general habits ; nor was learning 
in that age always accompanied by gentleness of manners. When the 
sermons of Hugh Latimer were in vogue at court, the university might 
be justified in applauding GAMMER GURTON'S NEEDLE f 


Reign of queen Mary. Mirrourfor Magistrates. Its inventor, Sack- 
ville lord Buckhurst. His life. Mirrourfor Magistrates continued 
by Baldwyn and Ferrers. Its plan and stories. 

TRUE genius, unseduced by the cabals and unalarmed by the dangers 
of faction, defies or neglects those events \vhich destroy the peace of 
mankind, and often exerts its operations amidst the most violent com- 
motions of a state. Without patronage and without readers, I may add 
without models, the earlier Italian writers, while their country was shook 
by the intestine tumults of the Guelfes and Guibelines, continued to 
produce original compositions both in prose and verse, which yet stand 
unrivalled. The age of Pericles and of the Peloponnesian war was the 
same. Careless of those who governed or disturbed the world, and su- 
perior to the calamities of a quarrel in which two mighty leaders con- 
tended for the prize of universal dominion, Lucretius wrote his sublime 
didactic poem on the system of nature, Virgil his bucolics, and Cicero 
his books of philosophy. The proscriptions of Augustus did not pre- 
vent the progress of the Roman literature. 

In the turbulent and unpropitious reign of queen Mary, when con- 
troversy was no longer confined to speculation, and a spiritual warfare 
polluted every part of England with murthers more atrocious than the 
slaughters of the most bloody civil contest, a poem was planned, al- 
though not fully completed, which illuminates with no common lustre 
that interval of darkness, which occupies the annals of English poetry 
from Surrey to Spenser, entitled, A MIRROUR FOR MAGISTRATES J. 

* [Perhaps, as they were in general ther of all preachers" (vid. infra, Sect. LV.) 

graver at Cambridge than at the inns of why might not the court approve? PARK. 
court, when they did unbend, they were J [A new edition of the Mirrour for 

more apt to exceed. ASHBY.] Magistrates, printed from that of 1587, 

f [And yet, as Mr. Ashby suggests, if and collated with those of 1559, 1563, 

Wilson, who wrote the judicious treatise 1571, 1575, 1578 and 1610, appeared in 

on Rhetoric in 1553, and himself a dean, 1815 under the editorship of Mr. Hasle- 

could pronounce Hugh Latimer, "the fa- wood. PRICE.] 


More writers than one were concerned in the execution of this piece; 
but its primary inventor, and most distinguished contributor, was Tho- 
mas Sackville the first lord Buekhurst, and first earl of Dorset. Much 
about the same period, the same author wrote the first genuine English 
tragedy, which I shall consider in its proper place. 

Sackville was born at Buckhurst, a principal seat of his ancient and 
illustrious family in the parish of Withiam in Sussex. His birth is 
placed, but with evident inaccuracy, under the year 1536 a : at least it 
should be placed six years before. Discovering a vigorous understand- 
ing in his childhood, from a domestic tuition he was removed, as it may 
reasonably be conjectured, to Hart-hall, now Hertford-college, in Ox- 
ford. But he appears to have been a master of arts at Cambridge 1 *. 
At both universities he became celebrated as a Latin and English poet; 
and he carried his love of poetry, which he seems to have almost solely 
cultivated, to the Inner Temple. It was now fashionable for every young 
man of fortune, before he began his travels, or was admitted into par- 
liament, to be initiated in the study of the law. But instead of pur- 
suing a science, which could not be his profession, and which was un- 
accommodated to the bias of his genius, he betrayed his predilection 
to a more pleasing species of literature, by composing the tragedy just 
mentioned, for the entertainment and honour of his fellow-students. 
His high birth, however, and ample patrimony soon advanced him to 
more important situations and employments. His eminent accomplish- 
ments and abilities having acquired the confidence and esteem of queen 
Elizabeth, the poet was soon lost in the statesman, and negotiations 
and embassies extinguished the milder ambitions of the ingenuous 
Muse. Yet it should be remembered, that he was uncorrupted amidst 
the intrigues of an artful court, that in the character of a first minister 
he preserved the integrity of a private man, and that his family refused 
the offer of an apology to his memory, when it was insulted by the ma^ 
licious insinuations of a rival party. Nor is it foreign to our purpose 
to remark, that his original elegance and brilliancy of mind sometimes 
broke forth in the exercise of his more formal political functions. He 
was frequently disgusted at the pedantry and official barbarity of style, 
with which the public letters and instruments were usually framed : and 
Naunton relates, that his " secretaries had difficulty to please him, he 
was so facete and choice in his style c ." Even in the decisions and 
pleadings of that rigid tribunal the star-chamber, which was never 
esteemed the school of rhetoric, he practised and encouraged an unac- 
customed strain of eloquent and graceful oratory ; on which account, 
says Lloyd, " so flowing was his invention, that he was called the star- 
chamber bell d ." After he was made a peer by the title of Lord Buck- 

a Archbishop Abbot, in Sackville's fu- b Wood, Ath. Oxon. i. F. 767. 

neral-sermon,sayshewasaged72whenhe c Fragm. Regal, p. 70. 

died, in the year 1608. If so, he was not d Lloyd's Worthies, p. 678, 
20 years of age when he wrote Gorboduc. 


hurst, and had succeeded to a most extensive inheritance, and was now 
discharging the business of an envoy to Paris, he found time to prefix 
a Latin epistle to Clerke's Latin translation of Castilio's COURTIER, 
printed at London in 1571? which is not an unworthy recommendation 
of a treatise remarkable for its polite Latinity. It was either because 
his mistress Elizabeth paid a sincere compliment to his singular learn- 
ing and fidelity, or because she was willing to indulge an affected fit of 
indignation against the object of her capricious passion, that when Sack- 
ville, in 1591, was a candidate for the chancellorship of the university 
of Oxford, she condescended earnestly to solicit the university in his fa- 
vour, and in opposition to his competitor the earl of Essex. At least 
she appears to have approved the choice, for her majesty soon after- 
wards visited Oxford, where she was entertained by the new chancellor 
with splendid banquets and much solid erudition. It is neither my de- 
sign nor my province, to develop the profound policy with which he 
conducted a peace with Spain, the address with which he penetrated or 
baffled the machinations of Essex, and the circumspection and success 
with which he managed the treasury of two opulent sovereigns. I re- 
turn to Sackville as a poet, and to the history of the MIRROUR OF 


About the year 1557? he formed the plan of a poem, in which all the 
illustrious but unfortunate characters of the English history, from the 
conquest to the end of the fourteenth century, were to pass in review 
before the poet, who descends like Dante into the infernal region, and 
is conducted by SORROW. Although a descent into hell had been sug- 
gested by other poets, the application of such a fiction to the present 
design is a conspicuous proof of genius and even of invention. Every 
personage was to recite his own misfortunes in a separate soliloquy*. 
But Sackville had leisure only to finish a poetical preface called an IN- 
DUCTION, and one legend, which is the life of Henry Stafford duke of 
Buckingham. Relinquishing therefore the design abruptly, and hastily 
adapting the close of his INDUCTION to the appearance of Buckingham, 
the only story he had yet written, and which was to have been the last 
in his series, he recommended the completion of the whole to Richard 
Baldwyne and George Ferrers. 

Baldwyne seems to have been graduated at Oxford about the year 
1532. He was an ecclesiastic, and engaged in the education of youth f. 
I have already mentioned his metrical version of SOLOMON'S SONG, 

e Many of his Letters are in the Cabala. f [He further appears to have been 

And in the university register at Oxford, one of those scholars who followed print- 

(Mar. 21, 1591,) see his Letter about the ing, in order to forward the reformation, 

Habits. See also Howard's Coll. p. 297. and in 1549 styled himself " servaunt with 

* [And Sackville was to have written Edward Whitchurch." Vid. supr. p. 159. 

" all the Tragedies" in this metrical mir- Herbert, however, who thinks he assumed 

ror, from William the Conqueror to the that modest appellation as corrector of the 

Duke of Buckingham. See fol. 107 in press, says "He appears afterwards to have 

edit. 1575, and fol. 205 in edit. 1587. qualified himself for a compositor." Ty- 

PARK.] p g. Ant. p. 551. PARK.] 


dedicated to king Edward the Sixth f . His patron was Henry lord 
Stafford . 

George Ferrers, a man of superior rank, was born at Saint Albans, 
educated at Oxford, and a student of Lincoln's-inn. Leland, who has 
given him a place in his ENCOMIA, informs us, that he was patronised 
by lord Cromwell h . He was in parliament under Henry the Eighth ; 
and, in 154-2, imprisoned by that whimsical tyrant, perhaps very un- 
justly, and for some cabal now not exactly known. About the same 
time, in his juridical capacity, he translated the MAGNA CHARTA from 
French into Latin and English, with some other statutes of England 1 . 
In a scarce book, William Patten's Expedition into Scotlande of the 
most woortliely fortunate prince Edward duke of Somerset, printed at 
London in 1548 j , and partly incorporated into Hollinshed's history, it 
appears from the following passage that he was of the suite of the pro- 
tector Somerset : " George Ferrers a gentleman of my lord Protectors, 
and one of the commissioners of the carriage of this army." He is said 
to have compiled the history of queen Mary's reign y which makes a part 
of Grafton's CHRONICLED He was a composer almost by profession 
of occasional interludes for the diversion of the court: and in 1553, 
being then a member of Lincoln's-inn, he bore the office of LORD OF 
MISRULE at the royal palace of Greenwich during the twelve days of 
Christmas. Stowe says, " George Ferrers gentleman of Lincolns-inn, 
being lord of the disportes all the 12 days of Christmas anno MDLin 1 , 
at Greenwich : who so pleasantly and wisely behaved himself, that the 
king had great delight in his pasty mes m ." No common talents were 
required for these festivities. Bale says that he wrote some rhymes, 
rhythmos aliquot". He died at Flamstead in Hertfordshire in 1579. 
Wood's account of George Ferrers, our author, who, misled by Putten- 
ham the author of the ARTE OF ENGLISH POESIE, has confounded him 
with Edward Ferrers a writer of plays, is full of mistakes and incon- 
sistencies . Our author wrote the epitaph of his friend Thomas Phayer, 

1 See supr. p. 159. J Dedicated to sir William Paget. Duo- 

e Ut infr. He wrote also Three boohes decimo. [And reprinted at Edinburgh in 

of Moral Philosophy, and The Lives and 1798, in a quarto volume entitled Frag- 

Sayings of Philosophers, Emperors, Kings, ments of Scottish History. PRICE.] Com- 

etc. dedicated to lord Stafford, often pare Leland, ut supr. fol. 66. 

printed at London in quarto. Altered by k Stowe, Chron. p. 632. 

Thomas Palfreyman, Lond. 1608. 12mo. ! Hollinshed says 1552. fol. 1067. 

Also, Similies and Proverbs; and The m Chron. p. 608. [See supr. vol. ii. 

Use of Adagies. Bale says that he wrote p. 525.] 

" Comoedias etiam aliquot." pag. 108. n p. 108. Script. Nostr. Temp. 

[He was appointed to " set forth a play Ath. Oxon. i. 193. The same mis- 

befoi-e the king in the year 1552-3." See -take is in Meres's Wits Treasury, printed 

Mr. Chalmers's Apology for the believers in 1598. In reciting the dramatic poets 

in the Shakspeare papers. PRICE.] of those times he says, " Maister Edward 

h Fol. 66. Ferris the authour of the Mirrour for Ma- 

i For Robert Redman. No date. After gistrates." fol. 282. [340 of the new edi- 

1540. At the end he is called George tion, where Mr. Bliss observes, "there 

Ferrerz. In duodecimo. Redman printed seems to be no good reason for supposing 

Magna Charta in French, 1529. Duo- that such an author as Edward Ferrers 

decim. oblong. ever existed." Vid. infra, Sect. LH. sub 


the old translator of the Eneid into English verse, who died in 1560, and 
is buried in the church of Kilgarran in Pembrokeshire. 

Baldwyne and Ferrers, perhaps deterred by the greatness of the at- 
tempt, did not attend to the series prescribed by Sackville; but in- 
viting some others to their assistance, among which are Churchyard 
and Phayer, chose such lives from the newly published chronicles of 
Fabyan and Hall, as seemed to display the most affecting catastrophes, 
and which very probably were pointed out by Sackville. The civil 
wars of York and Lancaster, which Hall had compiled with a la- 
borious investigation of the subject, appear to have been their chief 
resource P. 

These legends with their authors, including Sackville's part, are as 
follows. Robert Tresilian chief justice of England, in 1388, by Fer- 
rers. The two Mortimers, surnamed Roger, in 1329 and 1387, by 
Baldwyne [Cavyll]. Thomas of Woodstock duke of Gloucester, uncle 
to Richard the Second, murdered in 1397, by Ferrers. Lord Mow- 
bray, preferred and banished by the same king in 1398, by Church- 
yard [Chaloner]. King Richard the Second, deposed in 1399, by 
Baldwyne [Ferrers]. Owen Glendour, the pretended prince of Wales, 
starved to death in 1401, by Phaer. Henry Percy earl of Northum- 
berland, executed at York in 1407, by Baldwyne. Richard Planta- 
genet earl of Cambridge, executed at Southampton in 1415, by Bald- 
wyne. Thomas Montague earl of Salisbury, in 1428, by Baldwyne. 
James the First of Scotland, by Baldwyne. William de la Poole duke of 
Suffolk, banished for destroying Humphry duke of Gloucester in 1450, 
by Baldwyne. Jack Cade the rebel in 1450, by Baldwyne. Richard 
Plantagenet duke of Yorke, and his son the earl of Rutland, killed in 
1460, by Baldwyne. Lord Clifford, in 1461, by Baldwyne. Tiptoft earl 
of Worcester, in 1470, by Baldwyne. Richard Nevil earl of Warwick, 
and his brother John lord Montacute, killed in the battle of Barnet, 1471 
by Baldwyne. King Henry the Sixth murthered in the Tower of Lon- 
don, in 1471, by Baldwyne. George Plantagenet, third son of the duke 
of York, murthered by his brother Richard in 1478, by Baldwyne. 
Edward the Fourth, who died suddenly in 1483, by Skelton^. Sir 
Anthony Woodville, lord Rivers and Scales, governor of prince Edward, 

fin. where Warton has maintained the oits adventure o/" Richard Ferris and others 

same opinion. PRICE.] None of his who undertooke to rowe from Tower wharf e 

plays, which, Putlenham says, "were to Brlstoive in a small wherry-boate, Lond. 

written with much skill and m -.gnificence 1590. 4to. I believe the names of all three 

in his meter, and wherein the king had so should be written FERRERS. 

much good recreation that he had thereby p Hall's Union of the two noble and il- 

many good rewards," are now remaining, luslrious families of Yorke and Lancaster 

and, as I suppose, were never printed. He was printed at London, for Berthelette, 

died, and was buried in the church of Ba- 1542. fol. Continued by Grafton the 

desley-Clinton in Warwickshire, 1564. printer, from Hall's manuscripts, Loud. 

He was of Warwickshire, and educated 1548. fol. 

at Oxford. See Philips's Theatr. Poet. q Printed in his Works. But there is 

p. 221. Suppl. Lond. 1674. 12mo. An- an old edition of this piece alone, without 

other Ferris [Richard] wrote The danger- date, in duodecimo. 


murthered with his nephew lord Gray in 14*83, by Baldwyne r . Lord 
Hastings betrayed by Catesby, and murthered in the Tower by Richard 
duke of Gloucester, in 1 483 s . Sackville's IN DUCTION. Sackville's Duke 
of Buckingham. Collingbourne, cruelly executed for making a foolish 
rhyme, by Baldwyne. Richard duke of Gloucester, slain in Bosworth 
field by Henry the Seventh, in 14-85, by Francis Seagers 1 . Jane Shore, 
by Churchyard u . Edmund duke of Somerset, killed in the first battle of 
Saint Albans in 1454, by Ferrers. Michael Joseph the blacksmith and 
lord Audely, in 1496, by Cavyl. 

It was injudicious to choose so many stories which were then recent. 
Most of these events were at that time too well known to become the 
proper subject of poetry, and must have lost much of their solemnity 
by their notoriety. But Shakspeare has been guilty of the same fault. 
The objection, however, is now worn away, and age has given a dig- 
nity to familiar circumstances. 

This collection, or set of poems, was printed in quarto, in 1559, with 
the following title : " A MYRROVRE FOR MAGISTRATES, Wherein 
may be seen by example of others, with how greuous plages vices are 
punished, arid howe frayl and vnstable worldly prosperitie is founde, 
euen of those whom Fortvne seemeth most highly to favour. Felix 
quem faeiunt aliena pericula cautum. Anno 1559. Londini, in aedibus 
Thomse Marshe." A Mirrour was a favorite title of a book, especially 
among the old French writers*. Some anecdotes of the publication 
may be collected from Baldwyne's DEDICATION TO THE NOBILITIE, 
prefixed. " The wurke was begun and parte of it prynted in Queene 
Maries tyme, but hyndred by the Lord Chancellour that then was w : 
nevertheles, through the meanes of my lorde Stafford x , the fyrst parte 
was licenced, and imprynted the fyrst year of the raygne of this our 

r The Seconde Parte begins with this Miroir de 1'Ame pecheresse, 1531. 

Life. Miroir Fran ? ais, 1598. PARK.] 

8 Subscribed in Niccols's edition, "Mas- w This chancellor must have been 

ler D." that is, John Dolman. It was in- bishop Gardiner. [Herbert disproves 

tended to introduce here The two Princes this, by remarking, that Gardiner died 

murthered in the Tower, " by the lord November 13, 1555; and Sackville form- 

Vaulx, who undertooke to penne it, says ed the plan of this book in 1557 (see 

Baldwyne, but what he hath done therein p. 183). Dr. Heath, archbishop of York, 

I am not certaine." fol. cxiiii. b. Dolman succeeded him in the chancellorship on 

above mentioned was of the Middle Tern- the new year's day following. PARK.] 
pie. He translated into English Tully's * Henry lord Stafford, son and heir of 

Tusculane Questions, dedicated to Jewel Edward last duke of Buckingham, a 

bishop of Salisbury, and printed in 1561, scholar and a writer. See Wood, Ath. 

duodecimo. Oxon. i. 108. One of his books is dedi- 

1 A translator of the Psalms, see supr. cated to the Protector Somerset. Aubrey 

p. ICO. gives us a rhyming epitaph in Howard's 

u In the Prologue which follows, Bald- chapel in Lambeth church, written by 

wyne says, he was " exhorted to procure this nobleman to his sister the duchess of 

Maister Churchyarde to undertake and to Norfolk. Surrey, vol. v. p. 230. It is 

penne as many more of the remaynder, as subscribed "by thy most bounden bro- 

myght be attayned," &c. fol. clvi. a. ther Henry lord Stafford." Bale says 

* [In the British Museum occur that he was " vir multarum rerum ac 

Miroir des Pecheurs, en vers, 1468. disciplinarum notitia ornatus," and that 

Miroir de la Redemption humaine, 1482. he died in 1558, par. post. 112. 


most noble and vertuous queene y , and dedicated then to your honours 
with this preface. Since whych time, although I have been called to 
another trade of lyfe, yet my good lord Stafford hath not ceassed to call 
upon me to publyshe so much as I had gotten at other mens hands, so 
that through his lordshyppes earnest meanes I have now also set furth 
another parte, conteyning as little of myne owne as the fyrst parte 
doth of other mens z ." 

The plan was confessedly borrowed from Boccace's DE CASIBUS 
PRINCIPUM, a book translated, as we have seen, by Lydgate, but which 
never was popular, because it had no English examples. But Bald- 
wyne's scope and conduct, with respect to this and other circumstances, 
will best appear from his Preface, which cannot easily be found, and 
which I shall therefore insert at large. " When the printer had pur- 
posed with himselfe to printe Lydgate's translation of Bochas of the 
FALL OF PRINCES, and had made pryvye therto many both honourable 
and worshipfull, he was counsayled by dyvers of them, to procure to 
have the story coritynewed from where as Bochas left, unto this present 
time ; chiefly of such as Fortune had dalyed with in this yla r de. 
Which advyse lyked him so well, that he requyred me to take^paines 
therin. But because it was a matter passyng my wit and skyll, and 
more thankles than gaineful to meddle in, I refused utterly to under- 
take it, except I might have the help of suche, as in wit were apte, in 
learnyng allowed, and in judgement and estymacyon able to wield and 
furnysh so weighty an enterpryse, thinkyng even so to shift my handes. 
But he, earnest and diligent in his affayres, procured Atlas to set under 
his shoulder. For shortly after, divers learned men, whose manye 
giftes nede fewe prayses, consented to take upon them parte of the 
travayle. And when certaine of them, to the numbre of seven, were 
through a general assent at an appoynted tyme and place gathered 
together to clevyse thereupon, I resorted unto them, bearing with me 
the booke of Bochas translated by Dan Lidgate, for the better observa- 
tion of his order. Which although we liked wel, yet would it not 
conveniently serve, seeing that both Bochas and Lidgate were dead ; 
neither were there any alive that meddled with like argument, to whom 
the UNFORTUNATE might make their mone. To make therefore a state 
mete for the matter, they all agreed that I should usurpe Bochas 
rowme, and the WRETCHED PRINCES complayne unto me ; and take 
upon themselves every man for his parte to be sundry personages, and 
in their behalfes to bewaile unto ME their greevous chances, heavye 
destinies, and wofull misfortunes. This done, we opened such bookes 
of Cronicles as we had there present. And maister Ferrers, after he 
had found where Bochas left, which was about the ende of Kinge Ed- 
ward the Thirdes raigne, to begin the matter sayde thus. 

y Elizabeth, lowing extract from Baldwyne's preface, 

z Signat. C. ii. [Mr. Haslewood re- are taken from the edition of 1563. 
marks, that this dedication and the fol- PKICE.] 


" * I marvayle what Bochas meaneth, to forget among his MISERABLE 
PRINCES such as wer of our nacion, whose numbre is as great, as their 
adventures wunderfull. For to let passe all, both Britons, Danes, and 
Saxons, and to come to the last Conquest, what a sorte are they a , and 
some even in his [Boccace's] owne time, or not much before ! As 
for example, king Richard the Fyrst, slayne with a quarle b in his chyefe 
prosperitie. Also king John his brother, as sum saye, poysoned. Are 
not their histories rufull, and of rare example? But as it should 
appeare, he being an Italian, minded most the Roman and Italike story, 
or els perhaps he wanted our countrey Cronicles. It were therefore a 
goodly and a notable matter, to search and discourse our whole story 
from the first beginning of the inhabiting of the yle. But seeing the 
printer's minde is, to have us folowe where Lidgate left, we will leave 
that great labour to other that may intend it, and (as blinde Bayard is 
alway boldest) I will begyn at the time of Rychard the Second, a time 
as unfortunate as the ruler therein. And forasmuch, frend Baldwyne, 
as it shal be your charge to note and pen orderly e the whole proces, I 
will, so far as my memorie and judgemente serveth, sumwhat further 
you in the truth of the storye. And therefore omittinge the ruffle of 
Jacke Strawe and his meyney c , and the murther of manye notable 
men which therby happened, for Jacke, as ye knowe, was but apoore 
prynce ; I will begin with a notable example which within a while 
after ensued. And although he be no Great Prynce, yet sithens he 
had a princely office, I will take upon me the miserable person of syr 
ROBERT TRESILIAN chyefe justyce of England, and of other which 
suffered with him. Therby to warne all of his authoritye and pro- 
fession, to take hede of wrong judgements, misconstruynge of lawes, 
or wresting the same to serve the princes turnes, which ryghtfully 
brought theym to a miserable ende, which they may justly lament in 
manner ensuing d .'" Then follows sir ROBERT TRESILIAN'S legend or 
history, supposed to be spoken by himself, and addressed to Baldwyne. 

Here we see that a company was feigned to be assembled, each of 
which, one excepted, by turns personates a character of one of the 
great Unfortunate ; and that the stories were all connected, by being 
related to the silent person of the assembly, who is like the chorus in 
the Greek tragedies, or the Host in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. The 
whole was to form a sort of dramatic interlude, including a series of 
independent soliloquies. A continuity to this imagined representation 
is preserved by the introduction, after every soliloquy, of a prose epi- 
logue, which also serves as a prologue to the succeeding piece, and has 
the air of a stage-direction. Boccace had done this before. We have 
this interposition, which I give as a specimen, and which explains the 
method of the recital, between the tragedies of king RICHARD THE 
SECOND and OWEN GLENDOUR. " When he had ended this so wofull 

a how many they are. c multitude, crew, 

k quarell, the bolt of a cross-bow. d Signat. A. ii. 


a tragedye, and to all PRINCES a right worthy instruction, we paused ; 
having passed through a miserable tyme, full of pyteous tragedyes. 
And seyng the reygne of Henry the Fourth ensued, a man more ware 
and prosperous in hys doynges, although not untroubled with warres 
both of outforthe and inward enemyes, we began to serch what Pyers 
[peers] were fallen therein, wherof the number was not small : and 
yet because theyr examples were not muche to be noted for our pur- 
pose, we passed over all the Maskers, of whom kyrige Rycharde's 
brother was chiefe : whych were all slayne and put to death for theyr 
trayterous attempt. And fyndynge Owen Glendoure next one of For- 
tune's owne whelpes, and the Percyes his confederates, I thought them 
unmete to be overpassed, and therefore sayd thus to the sylent cum- 
pany, What, my maysters, is every one at once in a browne study, and 
hath no man affection to any of these storyes ? You mynd so much 
some other belyke, that those do not move you. And to say the 
trouth, there is no special cause why they should. Howbeyt Owen 
Glendoure, becaus he was one of Fortune's darlynges, rather than he 
should be forgotten, I wil tel his tale for him, under the privelidge of 
Martine hundred. Which OWEN, cuming out of the wilde mountains 
lyke the Image of Death in al pointes, (his darte onlie excepted,) so 
sore hath famyne and hunger consumed hym, may lament his folly 
after this maner." This process was a departure from Sackville's 
idea ; who supposes, as I have hinted, the scene laid in hell, and that 
the unfortunate princes appeared to him in succession, and uttered 
their respective complaints, at the gates of Elysium, under the guidance 

Many stanzas in the legends written by Baldwyne 6 and Ferrers, and 
their friends, have considerable merit, and often shew a command of 
language and versification f . But their performances have not the 
pathos which the subject so naturally suggests. They give us, yet 
often with no common degree of elegance and perspicuity, the chro- 
nicles of Hall and Fabyan in verse. I shall therefore, in examining 
this part of the MIRROUR OF MAGISTRATES, confine my criticism to 
Sackville's INDUCTION and Legend of Buckingham. 

e That is, Baldwyne had previously He must have knowledge of eternal 
prepared and written his legend or mo- thynges, 

nologue, and one of the company was to Almightie Jove must harbor in his brest. 
act his part, and assume this appearance. [Mr. Haslewood states the reference in 

fol. xviii. b. this note to agree with the edition of 1563, 

f These lines in Collingbourne's legend and that the extract accords with an im- 

are remarkable, fol. cxliiii. a. prove d reading which first appeared in 

Like Pegasus a poet must have wynges, 1571. PRICE.] 
To flye to heaven, or where him liketh 



Sachville's Induction to the Mirrour for Magistrates. Examined. 
A prelude to the Fairy Queen. Comparative view of Dante s 

SACKVILLE'S INDUCTION, which was to have been placed at the head 
of our English tragical story, and which loses much of its dignity and 
propriety by being prefixed to a single life, and that of no great histo- 
rical importance, is opened with the following poetical landscape of 

The wrathfull winter, prochinge on apace, 

With blustring blasts had all ybard the treene ; 

And old Saturnus with his frosty face 

With chilling colde had pearst the tender greene : 

The mantels rent, wherein enwrapped been 

The gladsom groves, that nowe laye overthrowen, 

The tapets torne, and every bloom downe blowne. 

The soile that earst so seemly was to seen, 

Was all despoyled of her beauty's hewe ; 

And soote freshe flowres, wherewith the sommers queen 

Had clad the earth, now Boreas blastes downe blewe ; 

And small fowles flocking in theyr song did rewe 

The winters wrath, wherewith eche thinge defaste 

In wofull wise bewayld the sommer paste. 

Hawthorne had lost his motley lyverye, 

The naked twigges were shivering all for colde ; 

And droppinge downe the teares abundantly, 

Eche thing, methought, with weping eye me tolde 

The cruell season, bidding me witholde 

Myselfe within : for I was gotten out 

Into the feldes where as I walkt about. 

When loe the night, with mistie mantels spred, 
Gan darke the daye, and dim the azure skies, &c. 

The altered scene of things, the flowers and verdure of summer de- 
formed by the frosts and storms of winter, and the day suddenly over- 

8 See fol. cxvi. [Warton's text is taken because " bloom applies to spring, not 

from the edition of 1610, corrected by the autumn." Have we then no autumnal 

emendations of Capell in his Prolusions. flowers ? It may be questioned whether 

Some of these are manifestly erroneous, the modern abstract idea of " bloom" was 

and the original readings have consequent- current in Sackville's day. But the suc- 

ly been restored. Sir Egerton Brydges ceeding stanza clearly justifies Warton's 

objects to the reading of the seventh line, election. PRICE.] 


spread with darkness, remind the poet of the uncertainties of human 
life, the transient state of honour, and the instability of prosperity. 

And sorrowing I to see the sommer flowers, 
The lively greene, the lusty leas forlorne, 
The sturdy trees so shattred with the showers, 
The fieldes so fade, that floorisht so beforne ; 
It taught me wel, all earthly thinges be borne 
To dye the death, for nought long time may last : 
The sommors beauty yeelds to winters blast. 

Then looking upwards to the heavens [1] earns, 
With nightes starres thick-powdred every where, 
Which erst so glistened with the golden streames 
That chearfull Phebus spred downe from his sphere, 
Beholding darke, oppressing day, so neare ; 
The sodayne sight reduced to my mynde 
The sundry chaunges that in earth we fynde. 

Immediately the figure of SORROW suddenly appears, which shows 
the poet in a new and bolder mode of composition. 

And strayt forth stalking with redoubled pace, 
For that I sawe the night drew on so fast, 
In black all clad there fell before my face 
A piteous wight, whom woe had all forwast ; 
Furth from her iyen the crystall teares outbrast, 
And syghing sore her haundes she wronge and folde, 
Tare al her haire that ruth was to beholde. 

Her body small, forwithered and forespent, 
As is the stalke that sommers drought opprest ; 
Her wealked face with wofull teares besprent, 
Her colour pale, and, as it seemed her best, 
In woe and playnt reposed was her rest : 
And as the stone that droppes of water weares, 
So dented were her cheekes with fall of teares. 

I stoode agast, beholding all her plight, 
Tween dread and dolour so distreynd in hart, 
That while my heares upstarted with the sight, 
The teares outstreamde for sorowe of her smart. 
But when I sawe no ende, that could aparte 
The deadly dole which she so sore dyd make, 
With dolefull voyce then thus to her I spake. 

Unwrap thy woes, whatever wight thou be ! 
And stint betime to spill thyselfe with playnt. 
Tell what thou art, and whence, for well I see 


Thou canst not dure with sorowe thus attaynt. 
And with that worde, of sorrowe all forfaynt, 
She looked up, and prostrate as she laye, 
With piteous sounde, lo ! thus she gan to saye. 

Alas, I wretche, whom thus thou seest distrayned, 
With wasting woes, that never shall aslake, 
SORROWE I am, in endeles tormentes payned, 
Among the Furies in the infernall lake ; 
Where Pluto god of hell so grieslie blake 
Doth holde his throne, and Lethes deadly taste 
Doth reive remembrance of eche thyng forepast. 

Whence come I am, the drery destinie, 

And luckles lot, for to bemone of those, 

Whom Fortune in this maze of miserie, 

Of wretched chaunce, most wo full myrrours chose : 

That when thou seest how lightly they did lose 

Theyr pomp, theyr power, and that they thought most sure, 

Thou mayest soon deeme no earthlye joye may dure. 

SORROW then conducts the poet to the classical hell, to the place of tor- 
ments and the place of happiness. 

I shall thee guyde first to the griesly lake, 

And thence unto the blissfull place of rest : 

Where thou shalt see and heare the playnt they make, 

That whilom here bare swinge b among the best. 

This shalt thou see. But great is the unrest 

That thou must byde, before thou canst attayne 

Unto the dreadfull place where those remayne. 

And with these wordes as I upraysed stood 

And gan to folowe her that straight forth paste, 

Ere I was ware, into a desert wood 

We nowe were come : where hand in hand embraced, 

She led the way, and through the thicke so traced 

As, but I had beene guyded by her might, 

It was no waye for any mortal wight. 

But loe ! while thus amid the desert darke 
We passed on, with steppes and pace unmeete, 
A rumbling roar confusde, with howle and barke 
Of dogs, shooke all the grounde under our feete, 
And strooke the din within our eares so deepe, 
As half distraught unto the ground I fell, 
Besought returne, and not to visit hell. 

b sway. 


An hydeous hole al vast, withouten shape, 
Of endles depth, orewhelmde with ragged stone, 
With oughly mouth and griesly jawes doth gape, 
And to our sight confounds itself in one. 
Here entred we, and yeding c forth, anone 
An horrible lothly lake we might discerne, 
As black as pitche, that cleped d is Averne. 

A deadly gulfe where nought but rubbish growes, 
With fowle blake swelth in thickened lumpes that lyes, 
Which upp in th' ayre such stinking vapour throwes, 
That over there may flye no fowle, but dyes 
Choakt with the pest'lent savours that aryse. 
Hither we come, whence forth we still did pace, 
In dreadfull feare amid the dreadfull place. 

Our author appears to have felt and to have conceived with true taste, 
that very romantic part of Virgil's Eneid, which he has here happily 
copied and heightened. The imaginary beings which sate within the 
porch of hell, are all his own. I must not omit a single figure of this 
dreadful group, nor one compartment of the portraitures which are 
feigned to be sculptured or painted on the SHIELD OF WAR, indented 
with gashes deepe and wide. 

And, first, within the porch and jaws of hell 
Sat deep REMORSE OF CONSCIENCE, all besprent 
With tears ; and to herself oft would she tell 
Her wretchedness, and, cursing, never stent 
To sob and sigh, but ever thus lament 
With thoughtful care ; as she that, all in vain, 
Would wear and waste continually in pain : 

Her eyes unstedfast, rolling here and there, 

Whirl'd on each place, as place that vengeance brought, 

So was her mind continually in fear, 

Tost and tormented with the tedious thought 

Of those detested crimes which she had wrought ; 

With dreadful cheer, and looks thrown to the sky, 

Wishing for death, and yet she could not die. 

Next, saw we DREAD, all trembling how he shook, 
With foot uncertain, profer'd here and there ; 
Benumb'd with speech ; and, with a gastly look, 
Search'd every place, all pale and dead for fear, 
His cap born up with staring of his hair ; 
'Stoin'd and amazed at his own shade for dread, 
And fearing greater dangers than was need. 

c going. d called. 

VOL. III. o 


And, next, within the entry of this lake, 
Sat fell REVENGE, gnashing her teeth for ire ; 
Devising means how she may vengeance take ; 
Never in rest, till she have her desire ; 
But frets within so far forth with the fire 
Of wreaking flames, that now determines she 
To die by death, or 'veng'd by death to be. 

When fell REVENGE, with bloody foul pretence, 
Had show'd herself, as next in order set, 
With trembling limbs we softly parted thence, 
Till in our eyes another sight we met ; 
When fro my heart a sigh forthwith I fet, 
Ruing, alas, upon the woeful plight 
Of MISERY, that next appear'd in sight : 

His face was lean, and some-deal pin'd away, 
And eke his hands consumed to the bone ; 
But, what his body was, I cannot say, 
For on his carkass rayment had he none, 
Save clouts and patches pieced one by one ; 
With staff in hand, and scrip on shoulders cast, 
His chief defence against the winter's blast : 

His food, for most, was wild fruits of the tree, 
Unless sometime some crums fell to his share, 
Which in his wallet long, God wot, kept he, 
As on the which full daint'ly would he fare ; 
His drink, the running stream, his cup, the bare 
Of his palm closed ; his bed, the hard cold ground : 
To this poor life was MISERY ybound. 

Whose wretched state when we had well beheld, 

With tender ruth on him, and on his feers, 

In thoughtful cares forth then our pace we held ; 

And, by and by, another shape appears 

Of greedy CARE, still brushing up the breers ; 

His knuckles knob'd, his flesh deep dinted in, 

With tawed hands, and hard ytanned skin : 

The morrow grey no sooner hath begun 
To spread his light, e'en peeping in our eyes. 
But he is up, and to his work yrun ; 
But let the night's black misty mantles rise, 
And with foul dark never so much disguise 
The fair bright day, yet ceaseth he no while, 
But hath his candles to prolong his toil. 


By him lay heavy SLEEP, the cousin of Death, 
Flat on the ground, and still as any stone, 
A very corpse, save yielding forth a breath ; 
Small keep took he, whom fortune frowned on, 
Or whom she lifted up into the throne 
Of high renown, but, as a living death, 
So dead alive, of life he drew the breath : 

The body's rest, the quiet of the heart, 
The travel's ease, the still night's feer was he, 
And of our life in earth the better part ; 
Rever of sight, and yet in whom we see 
Things oft that [tyde] and oft that never be ; 
Without respect, esteem [ing] equally 
King CROESUS' pomp and Inus' poverty. 

And next, in order sad, OLD-AGE we found : 
His beard all hoar, his eyes hollow and blind ; 
With drooping cheer still poring on the ground, 
As on the place where nature him assign'd 
To rest, when that the sisters had untwin'd 
His vital thread, and ended with their knife 
The fleeting course of fast-declining life : 

There heard we him with broke and hollow plaint 
Rue with himself his end approaching fast, 
And all for nought his wretched mind torment 
With sweet remembrance of his pleasures past, 
And fresh delights of lusty youth forewaste ; 
Recounting which, how would he sob and shriek, 
And to be young again of JOVE beseek ! 

But, an' the cruel fates so fixed be 
That time forepast cannot return again, 

This one request of JOVE yet prayed he, 

That, in such wither'd plight, and wretched pain, 
As eld, accompany'd with her lothsome train, 
Had brought on him, all were it woe and grief, 
He might a while yet linger forth his lief, 

And not so soon descend into the pit ; 
Where Death, when he the mortal corpse hath slain, 
With rechless hand in grave doth cover it; 
Thereafter never to enjoy again 
The gladsome light, but, in the ground ylain, 
In depth of darkness waste and wear to nought, 
As he had ne'er into the world been brought : 


But who had seen him sobbing how he stood 
Unto himself, and how he would bemoan 
His youth forepast, as though it wrought him good 
To talk of youth, all were his youth foregone, 
He would have mus'd, and marvel'd much, whereon 
This wretched Age should life desire so fain, 
And knows full well life doth but length his pain : 

Crook-back'd he was, tooth-shaken, and blear-eyed ; 
Went on three feet, and, sometime, crept on four ; 
With old lame bones, that rattled by his side ; 
His scalp all pil'd, and he with eld forelore, 
His wither'd fist still knocking at death's door ; 
Fumbling, and driveling, as he draws his breath ; 
For brief, the shape and messenger of Death. 

And fast by him pale MALADY was placed : 
Sore sick in bed, her colour all foregone ; 
Bereft of stomach, savour, and of taste, 
Ne could she brook no meat but broths alone ; 
Her breath corrupt ; her keepers every one 
Abhorring her ; her sickness past recure, 
Detesting physick, and all physick's cure. 

But, O, the doleful sight that then we see ! 
We turn'd our look, and on the other side 
A grisly shape of FAMINE mought we see : 
With greedy looks, and gaping mouth, that cry'd 
And roar'd for meat, as she should there have dy'd ; 
Her body thin and bare as any bone, 
Whereto was left nought but the case alone, 

And that, alas, was gnaw'n on every where, 
All full of holes ; that I ne mought refrain 
From tears, to see how she her arms could tear, 
And with her teeth gnash on the bones in vain, 
When, all for nought, she fain would so sustain 
Her starven corpse, that rather seem'd a shade 
Than any substance of a creature made : 

Great was her force, -whom stone-wall could not stay : 

Her tearing nails snatching at all she saw ; 

With gaping jaws, that by no means ymay 

Be satisfy 'd from hunger of her maw, 

But eats herself as she that hath no law ; 

Gnawing, alas, her carkass all in vain, 

Where you may count each sinew, bone, and vein. 


On her while we thus firmly fix'd our eyes, 
That bled for ruth of such a dreary sight, 
Lo, suddenly she shright in so huge wise 
As made hell gates to shiver with the might ; 
Wherewith, a dart we saw, how it did light 
Right on her breast, and, therewithal, pale DEATH 
Enthralling it, to reve her of her breath : 

And, by and by, a dumb dead corpse we saw, 
Heavy, and cold, the shape of Death aright, 
That daunts all earthly creatures to his law, 
Against whose force in vain it is to fight ; 
Ne peers, ne princes, nor no mortal wight, 
No towns, ne realms, cities, ne strongest tower, 
But all, perforce, must yield unto his power : 

His dart, anon, out of the corpse he tooke, 
And in his hand (a dreadful sight to see) 
With great triumph eftsoons the same he shook, 
That most of all my fears affray ed me ; 
His body dight with nought but bones, pardy ; 
The naked shape of man there saw I plain, 
All save the flesh, the sinew, and the vein. 

Lastly, stood WAR, in glittering arms yclad, 

With visage grim, stern look[es] and blackly hued: 

In his right hand a naked sword he had, 

That to the hilts was all with blood imbrued ; 

And in his left (that kings and kingdoms rued) 

Famine and fire he held, and therewithal 

He razed towns, and threw down towers and all : 

Cities he sack'd, and realms (that whilom flower'd 
In honour, glory, and rule, above the rest) 
He overwhelm'd, and all their fame devour'd, 
Consum'd, destroy'd, wasted, and never ceas'd 
Till he their wealth, their name, and all oppress'd : 
His face forehew'd with wounds ; and by his side 
There hung his TARGE, with gashes deep and wide : 

In mids of which depainted there we found 
Deadly DEBATE, all full of snaky hair- 
That with a bloody fillet was ybound, 
Outbreathing nought but discord every where : 
And round about were pourtray'd, here and there, 
The hugy hosts ; DARIUS and his power, 
His kings, his princes, peers, and all his flower. 


XERXES, the Persian king, yet saw I there, 
With his huge host, that drank the rivers dry, 
Dismounted hills, and made the vales uprear ; 
His host and all yet saw I slain, pardy : 
Thebes I saw, all razed how it did lie 
In heaps of stones ; and Tyrus put to spoil, 
With walls and towers flat-even'd with the soil. 

But Troy, (alas !) methought, above them all, 
It made mine eyes in very tears consume ; 
When I beheld the woeful word befall, 
That by the wrathful will of gods was come, 
And JOVE'S unmoved sentence and foredoom 
On PRIAM king and on his town so bent, 
I could not lin but I must there lament ; 

And that the more, sith destiny was so stern 

As, force perforce, there might no force avail 

But she must fall : and, by her fall, we learn 

That cities, towers, wealth, world, and all shall quail ; 

No manhood, might, nor nothing mought prevail ; 

All were there prest, full many a prince and peer, 

And many a knight that sold his death full dear : 

Not worthy HECTOR, worthiest of them all, 
Her hope, her joy, his force is now for nought : 
O Troy, Troy, Troy, there is no boot but bale ! 
The hugy horse within thy walls is brought ; 
Thy turrets fall ; thy knights, that whilom fought 
In arms amid the field, are slain in bed ; 
Thy gods defil'd, and all thy honour dead : 

The flames upspring, and cruelly they creep 

From wall to roof, till all to cinders waste : 

Some fire the houses where the wretches sleep ; 

Some rush in here, some run in there as fast ; 

In every where or sword, or fire, they taste : 

The walls are torn, the towers whirl'd to the ground; 

There is no mischief but may there be found. 

CASSANDRA yet there saw I how they hal'd 

From PALLAS' house, with spercled tress undone, 

Her wrists fast bound, and with Greek rout impal'd ; 

And PRIAM eke, in vain how he did run 

To arms, whom PYRRHUS with despite hath done 

To cruel death, and bath'd him in the baign 

Of his son's blood before the altar slain. 


But how can I descrive the doleful sight 
That in the shield so lively fair did shine ? 
Sith in this world, I think, was never wight 
Could have set forth the half not half so fine : 
I can no more, but tell how there is seen 
Fair ILIUM fall in burning red gledes down, 
And, from the soil, great Troy, NEPTUNUS' town. 

These shadowy inhabitants of hell-gate are conceived with the 
vigour of a creative imagination, and described with great force of 
expression. They are delineated with that fulness of proportion, that 
invention of picturesque attributes, distinctness, animation, and am- 
plitude, of which Spenser is commonly supposed to have given the 
first specimens in our language, and which are characteristical of his 
poetry. We may venture to pronounce that Spenser, at least, caught 
his manner of designing allegorical personages from this model, which 
so greatly enlarged the former narrow bounds of our ideal imagery, 
as that it may justly be deemed an original in that style of paint- 
ing. For we must not forget, that it is to this INDUCTION that Spen- 
ser alludes, in a sonnet prefixed to his Pastorals, in 1579, addressed To 
the right honourable THE LORD OF BUCKHURST, one of her maiesties 
priuie councell. 

In vaine I thinke, right honourable lord, 

By this rude rime to memorize thy name, 
Whose learned Muse hath writ her owne record, 

In golden verse, worthy immortal fame. 

Thou much more fit, were leisure for the same, 
Thy gracious soveraignes prayses to compile, 

And her imperiall majestic to frame 
In loftie numbers and heroick stile. 

The readers of the FAERIE QUEENE will easily point out many 
particular passages which Sackville's INDUCTION suggested to Spen- 

From this scene SORROW, who is well known to Charon, and to Cer- 
berus the hideous hound of hell, leads the poet over the loathsome lake 
of rude Acheron, to the dominions of Pluto, which are described in 
numbers too beautiful to have been relished by his cotempc raries, or 
equalled by his successors. 

Thence come we to the horrour and the hell, 
The large great kyngdomes, and the dreadful raygne 
Of Pluto in his trone where he dyd dwell, 
The wide waste places, and the hugie playne; 
The waylinges, shrykes, and sundry sorts of payne, 


The syghes, the sobbes, the depe and deadly groane, 
Earth, ayer, and all resounding playnt and moane e . 

Thence did we passe the threefold emperie 

To the utmost boundes where Rhadamanthus raignes, 

Where proud folke waile their wofull miserie ; 

Where dreadfull din of thousand dragging chaines, 

And baleful shriekes of ghosts in deadly paines 

Torturd eternally are heard most brim f 

Through silent shades of night so darke and dim. 

From hence upon our way we forward passe, 
And through the groves and uncoth pathes we goe, 
Which leade unto the Cyclops walles of brasse: 
And where that mayne broad flood for aye doth floe, 
Which parts the gladsome fields from place of woe : 
Whence none shall ever passe t' Elizium. plaine, 
Or from Elizium ever turne againe. 

Here they are surrounded by a troop of men, the most in armes be- 
dight, who met an untimely death, and of whose destiny, whether they 
were sentenced to eternal night or to blissfa.ll peace, it was uncertain. 

Loe here, quoth SORROWE, Princes of renowne 
That whilom sate on top of Fortune's wheele, 
Now laid full low, like wretches whurled downe 
Even with one frowne, that staid but with a smile, &c. 

They pass in order before SORROW and the poet. The first is Henry 
duke of Buckingham, a principal instrument of king Richard the Third. 

Then first came Henry duke of Buckingham, 

His cloake of blacke, all pild, and quite forlorne, 

Wringing his handes, and Fortune oft doth blame, 

Which of a duke hath made him now her skorne ; 

With ghastly lokes, as one in maner lorne, 

Oft spred his armes, stretcht handes he joynes as fast, 

With rufull cheere and vapored eyes upcast. 

e The two next stanzas are not in the That slew themselves when nothing else 
first [second] edition of 1559 [1563] ; avayl'd. 

but instead of them, the following stan- A thousand_ sorts of sorrows here that 
za : wayl'd 

With sighs, and teares, sobs, shrieks, and 
Here pul'd the babes, and here the maids all yfere, 

.V? d i v That > alas ! ' ifc was a hel1 to here &c 

With folded hands their sorry chance be- 

wayl'd ; [The stanzas in the text are the inter- 

Here wept the guiltless Slain, and lovers polation of Niccols. HASLEWOOD.] 
dead f feme, i. e. cruel. 


His cloake he rent, his manly breast he beat ; 
His hair al torne, about the place it layne : 
My heart so molte to see his grief so great, 
As feelingly, methought, it dropt away : 
His eyes they \vhurled about withouten staye : 
With stormy syghes the place did so complayne, 
As if his hart at eche had burst in twayne. 

Thryse he began to tell his doleful tale, 

And thryse the syghes did swalowe up his voyse ; 

At eche of whiche he shryked so withale, 

As though the heavens ryved with the noyse : 

Til at the last recovering his voyse ; 

Supping the teares that all his breast beraynde 

On cruell Fortune weping thus he playnde. 

Nothing more fully illustrates and ascertains the respective merits 
and genius of different poets, than a juxtaposition of their performances 
on similar subjects. Having examined at large Sackville's Descent 
into Hell, for the sake of throwing a still stronger light on his manner 
of treating a fiction which gives so large a scope to fancy, I shall em- 
ploy the remainder of this Section in setting before my reader a gene- 
ral view of Dante's Italian poem, entitled COMMEDIA, containing a de- 
scription of Hell, Paradise, and Purgatory, and written about the year 
1310. In the mean time, I presume that most of my readers will recol- 
lect and apply the sixth Book of Virgil ; to which, however, it may be 
necessary to refer occasionally. 

Although I have before insinuated that Dante has in this poem used 
the ghost of Virgil for a mystagogue, in imitation of Tully, who in the 
SOMNIUM SCIPIONIS supposes Scipio to have been shown the other 
world by his ancestor African us, yet at the same time in the invention 
of his introduction, he seems to have had an eye on the exordium of 
an old forgotten Florentine poem called TESORETTO, written in Frot- 
tola, or a short irregular measure, exhibiting a cyclopede of theoretic 
and practic philosophy, and composed by his preceptor Brunetto Latini 
about the year 1270 h . Brunetto supposes himself lost in a wood, at 
the foot of a mountain covered with animals, flowers, plants, and fruits 
of every species, and subject to the supreme command of a wonderful 
Lady, whom he thus describes : " Her head touched the heavens, which 
served at once for a veil and an ornament. The sky grew dark or se- 
rene at her voice, and her arms extended to the extremities of the 
earth 1 ." This bold personification, one of the earliest of the rude ages 

E melted. Talor toccava '1 cielo 

h See supr. vol. ii. p. 406. note". Si che parea suo velo : 
' See supr. vol. ii. p. 316. note p . [This E talor lo mutava 

translation is not quite correct: E talor lo turbava. 



of poetry, is NATURE. She converses with the poet, and describes the 
creation of the world. She enters upon a most unphilosophical and 
indeed unpoetical detail of the physical system ; developes the head of 
man, and points out the seat of intelligence and of memory. From 
physics she proceeds to morals ; but her principles are here confined 
to theology and the laws of the church, which she couches in technical 
rhymes k . 

Dante, like his master Brunetto, is bewildered in an unfrequented 
forest. He attempts to climb a mountain, whose summit is illumina- 
ted by the rising sun. A furious leopard, pressed by hunger, and a 
lion, at whose aspect the air is affrighted, accompanied by a she-wolf, 
oppose his progress ; and force him to fly precipitately into the pro- 
fundities of a pathless valley, where, says the poet, the sun was silent. 

Mi ripingeva dov e'l sol tace. 1 

In the middle of a vast solitude he perceives a spectre, of whom he 
implores pity and help. The spectre hastens to his cries : it was the 
shade of Virgil, whom Beatrix, Dante's mistress, had sent, to give him 
courage, and to guide him into the regions of hell m . Virgil begins a 

E tal suo mandamento 
Movea '1 fermamento ; 

E talor si spandea 
Si che '1 mondo parea 

Tutto nelle sue braccia. PRICE.] 
k Brunette's Tesoretto was abstracted 
by himself from his larger prose work on 
the same subject, written in old French 
and never printed, entitled TESORO. See 
supr. vol. ii. pp. 316. note p . 406. note ". 
and Hist. Acad. Inscript. torn. vii. 296 seq. 
[No two works can be more opposite in 
their nature than the Tesoro and Tesoretto 
of Brunetto Latino. The former is a vast 
repository of all the learning current in 
the thirteenth century; and the latter, 
though thus spoken of by its Neapolitan 
editor, " Nel Tesoretto quasi affatto si ri- 
strinse (sc. Brunetto) a formar 1'uomo nelle 
morali virtu, sull'orme di Severino Boezio," 
has been more happily characterised by the 
Academy "poesiaa foggia di frollota." It 
has been called "Tesoretto" by way of 
distinction from his larger work. The au- 
thor, who entertained a more exalted opi- 
nion of its worth than subsequent ages have 
chosen to bestow upon it, terms it " Tesoro " 
in his address to Rustico di Filippo : 

lo Brunetto Latino, 
Che vostro in ogni guisa 

Mi son sanza divisa ; 
A voi mi raccomando. 

Poi vi presento e mando 
Questo ricco Tesoro, 

Che vale argenlo ed oro : 

And again 

Lo Tesoro comenza, &c. 

. PRICE.] 

The Tesoro was afterwards translated into 
Italian by one Bono Giamboni, and printed 
at Trevisa, viz. " 11 Tesoro di Messer Bru- 
netto Latino, Fiorentino, Precettore del 
divino poeta Dante : nel qual si tratta di 
tutte le cose che a mortali se apparten- 
geno. In Trivisa. 1474. fol." After a table 
of chapters is another title, " Q,ui incho- 
mincia el Tesoro di S. Brunetto Latino di 
firenze : e parla del nascimento e della 
natura di tutte le cose." It was printed 
again at Venice, by Marchio Sessa, 1533. 
octavo. Mabillon seems to have con- 
founded this Italian translation with the 
French original. It. Italic, p. 169. See 
also Salviati, Avertis. Decam. ii. xii. 
Dante introduces Brunetto in the fif- 
teenth Canto of the Inferno ; and after 
the colophon of the first edition of the 
Italian Tesoro above mentioned, is this 
insertion : " Risposta di Dante a Bru- 
netto Latino ritrovado da lui nel quinto- 
decimo canto nel suo Inferno." The 
Tesoretto or Little Treasure, mentioned 
above in the text, has been printed, but 
is exceedingly scarce. 

1 Inf. Cant, i. The same bold metaphor 
occurs below, Cant. v. 

Evenni in luogo d' ogni LUCE MUTO. 
m See supr. vol. ii. p. 404. 


long discourse with Dante ; and expostulates with him for choosing to 
wander through the rough obscurities of a barren and dreary vale, when 
the top of the neighbouring mountain afforded every delight. The con- 
versation of Virgil, and the name of Beatrix, by degrees dissipate the 
fears of the poet, who explains his situation. He returns to himself, 
and compares this revival of his strength and spirits to a flower smitten 
by the frost of a night, which again lifts its shrinking head, and ex- 
pands its vivid colours, at the first gleamings of the morning-sun. 

Qual' il fioretti dal notturno gelo 
Chinati et chiusi, &c. n 

Dante, under the conduct of Virgil, penetrates hell; but he does 
not on this occasion always avail himself of Virgil's descriptions and 
mythologies. At least the formation of Dante's imageries are of an- 
other school. He feigns his hell to be a prodigious and almost bot- 
tomless abyss, which from its aperture to its lowest depth preserves 
a rotund shape ; or rather, an immense perpendicular cavern, which 
opening as it descends into different circles, forms so many distinct 
subterraneous regions. We are struck with horror at the commence- 
ment of this dreadful adventure. 

The first object which the poet perceives is a gate of brass, over 
which were inscribed in characters of a dark hue, di colore oscuro, 
these verses. 

Per me si va nella citta dolente : 

Per me si va nel eterno dolore : 

Per me si va tra la perduta gente. 

Giustizia moss e'l mio alto fattore : 

Fece me li divina potestate, 

La somma Sapienzia, e '1 primo Amore . 

Dinanzi a me non fur cose create : 

Se non eterne, el io duro eterno. 

Lassate ogni speranza voi ch' entraste.P 

That is, " By me is the way to the woeful city. By me is the way to 
the eternal pains. By me is the way to the damned race. My mighty 
maker was divine Justice and Power, the Supreme Wisdom, and the 
First Love. Before me nothing was created. If not eternal, I shall 
eternally remain. Put away all hope, ye that enter." 

There is a severe solemnity in these abrupt and comprehensive sen- 

n Cant. ii. In another part of the In- Cant. xxiv. This poem abounds in com- 

ferno, Virgil is angry with Dante, but is parisons. Not one of the worst is a comic 

soon reconciled. Here the poet compares one, in which a person looking sharply 

himself to a cottager in the early part of and eagerly, is compared to an old tailor 

a promising spring, who looks out in the threading a needle. Inf. Cant. xv. 

morning from his humble shed, and sees He means the Platonic Epws. The 

the fields covered with a severe and un- Italian expositors will have it to be the 

expected frost. But the sun soon melts Holy Ghost, 

the ground, and he drives his goats afield. p Cant. iii. 


tences, and they are a striking preparation to the scenes that ensue. 
But the idea of such an inscription on the brazen portal of hell, was 
suggested to Dante by books of chivalry ; in which the gate of an im- 
pregnable enchanted castle is often inscribed with words importing the 
dangers or wonders to be found within. Over the door of every cham- 
ber in Spenser's necromantic palace of Busyrane, was written a threat 
to the champions who presumed to attempt to enter 1. This total ex- 
clusion of hope from hell, here so finely introduced and so forcibly ex- 
pressed, was probably remembered by Milton, a disciple of Dante, where 
he describes 

Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace 
And rest can never dwell, HOPE NEVER COMES 

I have not time to follow Dante regularly through his dialogues and 
adventures with the crowds of ghosts, ancient and modern, which he 
meets in the course of this infernal journey. In these interviews, there 
is often much of the party and politics of his own times, and of allusion 
to recent facts. Nor have I leisure particularly to display our author's 
punishments and phantoms. I observe in general, that the ground- 
work of his hell is classical, yet with many Gothic and extravagant in- 
novations. The burning lakes, the fosses, and fiery towers which sur- 
round the city of Dis, and the three Furies which wait at its entrance, 
are touched with new strokes 9 . The Gorgons, the Hydra, the Chi- 
mera, Cerberus, the serpent of Lerna, and the rest of Virgil's, or rather 
Homer's, infernal apparitions, are dilated with new touches of the ter- 
rible, and sometimes made ridiculous by the addition of comic or incon- 
gruous circumstances, yet without any intention of burlesque. Because 
Virgil had mentioned the Harpies in a single word only*, in one of the 
loathsome groves which Dante passes, consisting of trees whose leaves 
are black, and whose knotted boughs are hard as iron, the Harpies 
build their nests u . 

Non frondi verdi, ma di color fosco, 
Non rami schietti, ma nodosi e 'nvolti, 
Non pomi v' eran, ma stecchi con tosco. 

Cacus, whom Virgil had called Semifer in his seventh book, appears in 
the shape of a Centaur covered with curling snakes, and on whose neck 
is perched a dragon hovering with expanded wings w . It is supposed 
that Dante took the idea of his INFERNO from a magnificent nightly 
representation of hell, exhibited by the pope in honour of the bishop 
of "Ostia on the river Arno at Florence, in the year 1304. This is men- 
tioned by the Italian critics in extenuation of Dante's choice of so 

q Fair. Qu. iii. xi. 54. t Gorgones, Harpyiaeque, vi. 289. 

r Paradise Lost, i. 65. u Cant. xiii. w Cant. xxv. 

* See Cant. ix. vii. 


strange a subject. But why should we attempt to excuse any absurdity 
in the writings or manners of the middle ages ? Dante chose this sub- 
ject as a reader of Virgil and Homer. The religious MYSTERY repre- 
sented on the river Arno, however magnificent, was perhaps a spectacle 
purely orthodox, and perfectly conformable to the ideas of the church. 
And if we allow that it might hint the subject, with all its inconsist- 
encies, it never could have furnished any considerable part of this won- 
derful compound of classical and romantic fancy, of pagan and Chris- 
tian theology, of real and fictitious history, of tragical and comic in- 
cidents, of familiar and heroic manners, and of satirical and sublime 
poetry. But the grossest improprieties of this poem discover an ori- 
ginality of invention, and its absurdities often border on sublimity. 
We are surprised that a poet should write one hundred cantos on hell, 
paradise and purgatory. But this prolixity is partly owing to the want 
of art and method ; and is common to all early compositions, in which 
every thing is related circumstantially and without rejection, and not 
in those general terms which are used by modern writers. 

Dante has beautifully enlarged Virgil's short comparison of the souls 
lingering on the banks of Lethe, to the numerous leaves falling from 
the trees in Autumn. 

Come d'Autumno si levan le foglie 
L'un appresso del'altra, infin che'l ramo 
Vede a la terre tutte le sue spoglie; 
Similmente, il mal seme d'Adamo 
Getta si di quel lito ad una ad una 
Per cenni, com'augel per suo richiamo.y 

In the Fields inhabited by unhappy lovers he sees Semiramis, 
Achilles, Paris, and Tristan, or sir Tristram. One of the old Italian 
commentators on this poem says, that the last was an English knight 
born in Cornovaglio, or Cornwall, a city of England 2 . 

Among many others of his friends, he sees Francisca the daughter 
of Guido di Polenta, in whose palace Dante died at Ravenna, and 
Paulo one of the sons of Malatesta lord of Rimini. This lady fell in 
love with Paulo ; the passion was mutual, and she was betrothed to him 
in marriage ; but her family chose rather that she should be married to 
Lanciotto, Paulo's eldest brother. This match had the most fatal con- 
sequences. The injured lovers could not dissemble or stifle their affec- 
tion : they were surprised, and both assassinated by Lanciotto. Dante 
finds the shades of these distinguished victims of an unfortunate at- 
tachment at a distance from the rest, in a region of his INFERNO deso- 
lated by the most violent tempests. He accosts them both, and Fran- 
cisca relates their history : yet the conversation is carried on with some 

y Cant. iii. belongs to sir Tristram's romance, is men- 

z In the sixteenth Canto of the Para- tioned. 
diso, king Arthur's queen Geneura, who 


difficulty, on account of the impetuosity of the storm which was per- 
petually raging. Dante, who from many circumstances of his own 
amours, appears to have possessed the most refined sensibilities about 
the delicacies of love, inquires in what manner, when in the other 
world, they first communicated their passion to each other. Francisca 
answers, that they were one day sitting together, and reading the ro- 
mance of LANCELOT ; where two lovers were represented in the same 
critical situation with themselves. Their changes of colour and coun- 
tenance, while they were reading, often tacitly betrayed their yet un- 
discovered feelings. When they came to that passage in the romance, 
where the lovers, after many tender approaches, are gradually drawn 
by one uniform reciprocation of involuntary attraction to kiss each 
other, the book dropped from their hands. By a sudden impulse and 
an irresistible sympathy, they are tempted to do the same. Here was 
the commencement of their tragical history. 

Noi leggiavam' un giorno per diletto 
Di LANCILOTTO, comme amor le strinse ; 
Soli eravamo, et senza alcun sospetto. 
Per piu fiate gli occhi ci sospinse 
Quella lettura et scolorocc' il viso : 
Ma sol un punto fu qual che ci vinse. 
Quando legemmo il disiato riso 
Esser baciato da cotanto amante 
Questi che mai da me no fia diviso 
La bocca mi bascio tutto tremante : 
GALEOTTO* fu il libro, et chi lo scrisse 
Quel giorno piu non vi legemmo avante. b 

But this picture, in which nature, sentiment, and the graces are con- 
cerned, I have to contrast with scenes of a very different nature. 
Salvator Rosa has here borrowed the pencil of Correggio. Dante's 
beauties are not of the soft and gentle kind. 

Through many a dark and dreary vale 
They pass'd, and many a region dolorous, 
O'er many a frozen, many a fiery Alp. c 

A hurricane suddenly rising on the banks of the river Styx is thus 

Et gia venia su per le torbid onde 
Un fracasso d'un suon pien di spavento, 
Per cui tremavan amendue le sponde ; 
Non altrimenti fatto che d'un vento 

B He is one of the knights of the Round b Cant. v. 

Table, and is commonly called sir Galhaad, c Milton, Par. L. ii. fi 18. 

in Arthur's Romance. 


Impetuoso per gli avversi ardori 
Che fier la salva senz' alcun rattento 
Gli rami schianta i abatte, et porta i fiori, 
Dinanzi polveroso va superbo, 
Et fa fuggir le fiere et glipastori.* 1 

Dante and his mystagogue meet the monster Geryon. He has the 
face of a man with a mild and benign aspect, but his human form ends 
in a serpent with a voluminous tail of immense length, terminated by a 
sting, which he brandishes like a scorpion. His hands are rough with 
bristles and scales. His breast, back, and sides have all the rich colours 
displayed in the textures of Tartary and Turkey, or in the labours of 
Arachne. To speak in Spenser's language, he is 

a dragon, horrible and bright 6 . 

No monster of romance is more savage or superb. 

Lo dosso, e'l petto, ad amenduo le coste, 
Dipinte avea di nodi, e di rotelle, 
Con piu color sommesse e soppraposte 
Non fur ma' in drappo Tartari ne Turchi, 
Ne fur tar tale per Aragne imposte. f 

The conformation of this heterogeneous beast, as a fabulous hell is 
the subject, perhaps immediately gave rise to one of the formidable 
shapes which sate on either side of the gates of hell in Milton. Al- 
though the fiction is founded in the classics. 

The one seem'd woman to the waste, and fair, 
But ended foul in many a scaly fold 
Voluminous and vast, a serpent arm'd 
With mortal sting &. 

Virgil, seeming to acknowledge him as an old acquaintance, mounts 
the back of Geryon. , At the same time Dante mounts, whom Virgil 
places before, " that you may not," says he, " be exposed to the mon- 
ster's venomous sting." Virgil then commands Geryon not to move too 
rapidly, "for, consider, what a new burthen you carry!" 

" Gerion muoviti omai, 

Le ruote large, e lo scender sia poco : 

Pensa la nuova soma che tu hai. h " 

In this manner they travel in the air through Tartarus ; and from the 
back of the monster Geryon, Dante looks down on the burning lake of 
Phlegethon. This imagery is at once great and ridiculous. But much 

d Cant. ix. a display of his natural knowledge from 

e Fair. Qu. i. ix. 52. Pliny, or rather from the Tesoro of his 

f Cant. xvii. Dante says, that he lay master Brunette. 

on the banks of a river like a Beaver, the B Par. L. ii. 649. 

Castor. But this foolish comparison is h Cant. xvii. 

affectedly introduced by our author for 


later Italian poets have fallen into the same strange mixture. In this 
horrid situation, says Dante, 

I sentia gia dalla man destra il gorgo 
Far sotto noi un orribile stroscio : 
Perche con gli occhi in giu la testa sporsi 
Allor fu io piu timido allo scoscio 
Perioch i vidi fuochi, e sente pianti, 
Oud' io tremando tutto mi rancosco. 1 

This airy journey is copied from the flight of Icarus and Phaeton, 
and at length produced the Ippogrifo of Ariosto. Nor is it quite im- 
probable, that Milton, although he has greatly improved and dignified 
the idea, might have caught from hence his fiction of Satan soaring 
over the infernal abyss. At length Geryon, having circuited the air 
like a falcon towering without prey, deposits his burthen and va- 
nishes 11 . 

While they are wandering along the banks of Phlegethon, as the 
twilight of evening approaches, Dante suddenly hears the sound of a 
horn more loud than thunder, or the horn of Orlando 1 . 

Ma io senti sonare alto corno: 

Non sono si terribilimente Orlando. 1 " 

Dante descries through the gloom, what he thinks to be many high 
and vast towers, molte alti torri. These are the giants who warred 
against heaven, standing in a row, half concealed within and half extant 
without an immense abyss or pit. 

Gli orribili giganti, cui minaccia 
Giove del cielo ancora quando tuona." 

But Virgil informs Dante that he is deceived by appearances, and 
that these are not towers but the giants. 

Sappi, che non son torri ma giganti 
E son nel pezzo intorno della ripa 
D'all umbilico in guiso, tutti quanti. 

One of them cries out to Dante with horrible voice. Another, 
Ephialtes, is clothed in iron and bound with huge chains. Dante 
wishes to see Briareus : he is answered, that he lies in an interior 

> Cant. xvii. This Canto begins with a Latin line, 

k In the thirty-fourth Canto, Dante 

and Virgil return io light on the back Vexilla regis prodeunt infcrni. 

of Lucifer, who (like Milton's Satan, , Or Roland, the subject of archbishop 

ii. 927.) is described as having wings T in>s romance . See supr. vol i. 

like sails, p 135 

Vele di mar non vid' io mai est celi. m Cant. xxxi. 

n Ibid. 
And again, , Ibid> 

Quando 1' ale furo aperte assai. 


cavern biting his chain. Immediately Ephialtes arose from another 
cavern, and shook himself like an earthquake. 

Non fu tremuoto gia tanto rubesto, 

Che schotesse una torri cosi forte, 

Come Fialte a scuotersi fu presto.^ 

Dante views the horn which had sounded so vehemently hanging by 
a leathern thong from the neck of one of the giants. Antaeus, whose 
body stands ten ells high from the pit, is commanded by Virgil to 
advance. They both mount on his shoulders, and are thus carried 
about Cocytus. The giant, says the poet, moved off with us like 
the mast of a shipi. One cannot help observing, what has been 
indeed already hinted, how judiciously Milton, in a similar argument, 
has retained the just beauties, and avoided the childish or ludicrous 
excesses of these bold inventions. At the same time we may re- 
ma'rk, how Dante has sometimes heightened, and sometimes diminished 
by improper additions or misrepresentations, the legitimate descriptions 
of Virgil. 

One of the torments of the Damned in Dante's INFERNO, is the pu- 
nishment of being eternally confined in lakes of ice. 
Eran 1'ombre dolenti nell ghiaccia 
Mettendo i denti in nota di cicogna r . 

The ice is described to be like that of the Danube or Tanais. This 
species of infernal torment, which is neither directly warranted by scrip- 
ture, nor suggested in the systems of the Platonic fabulists, and which 
has been adopted both by Shakspeare and Milton, has its origin in the 
legendary hell of the monks. The hint seems to have been taken from 
an obscure text in the Book of JOB, dilated by Saint Jeroni and the 
early commentators 3 . 1'he torments of hell, in which the punishment 
by cold is painted at large, had formed a visionary romance, under the 
name of Saint Patrick's Purgatory or Cave, long before Dante wrote*. 
The venerable Bede, who lived in the seventh century, has framed a 
future mansion of existence for departed souls with this mode of torture. 
In the hands of Dante it has assumed many fantastic and grotesque cir- 
cumstances, which make us laugh and shudder at the same time. 

In another department, Dante represents some of his criminals roll- 
ing themselves in human ordure. If his subject led him to such a de- 
scription, he might at least have used decent expressions ; but his dic- 
tion is not here less sordid than his imagery. I am almost afraid to 
transcribe this gross passage, even in the disguise of the old Tuscan 

p Cant. xxxi. Come la pina di san Pietro a Roma, 

q Dante says, if I understand the pas- r r t 

sage right, that the face of one of the . V n ^ ,V q 
giants resembled the cupola, shaped like 

a pine-apple, of saint Peter's church at See SUpn V K "' *' 388 ' n te ' 

Hume. Ibid. Cant. xxxi. 

Vol.. III. p 


Quindi giu nel fosso 

Vidi gente attuffata in uno stereo, 
Che dagli uman privati para mosso ; 
Et mentre che laggiu con 1'occhio cerco : 
Vidi un, co'l capo si da merda lordo, 
Che non parea sera laico, o cherco v . 

The humour of the last line does not make amends for the nastiness of 
the image. 

It is not to be supposed, that a man of strong sense and genius, whose 
understanding had been cultivated by a most exact education, and who 
had passed his life in the courts of sovereign princes, would have in- 
dulged himself in these disgusting fooleries, had he been at all appre- 
hensive that his readers would have been disgusted. But rude and early 
poets describe every thing. They follow the public manners : and if 
they are either obscene or indelicate, it should be remembered that they 
wrote before obscenity or indelicacy became offensive. 

Some of the Guilty are made objects of contempt by a transform- 
ation into beastly or ridiculous shapes. This was from the fable of 
Circe. In others, the human figure is rendered ridiculous by distor- 
tion. There is one set of criminals whose faces are turned round to- 
wards their backs. 

E'l piante de gli occhi 

Le natiche bagnava per lo fesso". 

But Dante has displayed more true poetry in describing a real event 
than in the best of his fictions. This is in the story of Ugolino count 
of Pisa, the subject of a very capital picture by Reynolds. The poet, 
wandering through the depths of hell, sees two of the Damned gnaw- 
ing the sculls of each other, which was their daily food. He inquires 
the meaning of this dreadful repast. 

La bocca sollevo dal fiero pasto 
Quel peccator, forbendola a capelli 
Del capo ch'egli havea di retro guasto w . 

Ugolino, quitting his companion's half-devoured scull, begins his 
tale to this effect : " We are Ugolin count of Pisa, and archbishop 
Ruggieri. Trusting in the perfidious counsels of Ruggieri, I was 
brought to a miserable death. I was committed with four of my chil- 
dren to the dungeon of hunger. The time came when we expected 
food to be brought ; instead of which, I heard the gates of the horrible 
tower more closely barred. I looked at my children, and could not 

v Cant, xviii. " Cant. xx. w Cant, xxxiii. They are both in the lake of ice. 


L'hora s'appressava 

Che'l cibo ne soleva essere adotto ; 
E per suo sogno ciascun dubitava : 
Ed io senti chiavar 1'uscio di sotto 
A TORRIBILE TORRE, ond'io guardai 
Nel viso a miei figliuoli, senza far metta. 

I could not complain. I was petrified. My children cried : and my 
little Anselm, Anselmuccio mio, said, Father, you look on us; what is the 
matter ? 

Tu guardi si, padre, che hai ? 

I could neither weep, nor answer, all that day and the following night. 
When the scanty rays of the sun began to glimmer through the dolor- 
ous prison, 

Com'un poco di raggio si fu messo 

Nel doloroso carcere, 

and I could again see those four countenances on which my own image 
was stamped, I gnawed both my hands for grief. My children sup- 
posing I did this through a desire to eat, lifting themselves suddenly up, 
exclaimed, O father, our grief would be less, if you would eat us ! 

Ambo le mani per dolor mi morsi : 
E quei pensado ch'io'l fessi per voglia 
Di manicar, di subito levorsi 
Et disser, Padre, assai cifia men doglia 
Se tu mangi di noi ! 

I restrained myself that I might not make them more miserable. We 
were all silent, that day and the following. Ah ! cruel earth, why didst 
thou not swallow us up at once ? 

Quel di, et 1'altro, stemmo tutta muti. 
Ahi ! dura terra, perche non 1'apristi ? 

The fourth day being come, Gaddo falling all along at my feet, cried 
out, My father, why do not you help me ? and died. The other three 
expired, one after the other, between the fifth and sixth days, famished 
as you see me now. And I being seized with blindness began to crawl 
over them, sovra ciascuno, on hands and feet ; and for three days after 
they were dead, continued calling them by their names. At length, 
famine finished my torments." Having said this, the poet adds, " with 
distorted eyes he again fixed his teeth on the mangled scull " x . It is not 
improbable, that the shades of unfortunate men, who, described under 
peculiar situations and with their proper attributes, are introduced re- 
lating at large their histories in hell to Dante, might have given the hint 
to Boccace's book DE CASIBUS VIRORUM ILLUSTRIUM, On the Mis- 

x Cant, xxiii. See supr. vol. ii. p. 166, note . And Essay on Pope, p. 254. 



fortunes of Illustrious Personages, the original model of the MIRROUR 

Dante's PURGATORY is not on the whole less fantastic than his HELL. 
As his Hell was a vast perpendicular cavity in the earth, he supposes 
Purgatory to be a cylindric mass elevated to a prodigious height. At 
intervals are recesses projecting from the outside of the cylinder. In 
these recesses, some higher and some lower, the wicked expiate their 
crimes, according to the proportion of their guilt. From one depart- 
ment they pass to another by steps of stone exceedingly steep. On the 
top of the whole, or the summit of Purgatory, is a platform adorned 
with trees and vegetables of every kind. This is the Terrestrial Para- 
dise, which has been transported hither, we know not how, and which 
forms an avenue to the Paradise Celestial. It is extraordinary that some 
of the Gothic painters should not have given us this subject. 

Dante describes not disagreeably the first region which he traverses 
on leaving hell?. The heavens are tinged with sapphire, and the star of 
love, or the sun, makes all the orient laugh. He sees a venerable sage 
approach. This is Cato of Utica, who, astonished to see a living man 
in the mansion of ghosts, questions Daute and Virgil about the business 
Avhich brought them hither. Virgil answers; and Cato advises Virgil 
to wash Dante's face, which was soiled with the smoke of hell, and to 
cover his head with one of the reeds which grew on the borders of the 
neighbouring river. Virgil takes his advice ; and having gathered one 
reed, sees another spring up in its place. This is the golden bough of 
the Eneid, uno avulso non deficit alter. The shades also, as in Virgil, 
crowd to be ferried over Styx; but an angel performs the office of 
Charon, admitting some into the boat, and rejecting others. This con- 
fusion of fable and religion destroys the graces of the one and the ma- 
jesty of the other. 

Through adventures and scenes more stra-n ge and wild than any in 
the Pilgrim's Progress, we at length arrive at the twenty-first Canto. 
A concussion of the earth announces the deliverance of a soul from 
Purgatory. This is the soul of Statius, the favourite poet of the dark 
ages. Although a very improper companion for Virgil, he immediately 
joins our adventurers, and accompanies them in their progress. It is 
difficult to discover what pagan or Christian idea regulates Dante's dis- 
pensation of rewards and punishments. Statius passes from Purgatory 
to Paradise, Cato remains in the place of expiation, and Virgil is con- 
demned to eternal torments. 

Dante meets his old acquaintance Forese, a debauchee of Florence. 
On finishing the conversation, Forese asks Dante when he shall have 
the pleasure of seeing him again. This question in Purgatory is divert- 
ing enough. Dante answers with much serious gravity, ** 1 know not 
the time of death ; but it cannot be too near. Look back on the troubles 

y Purgat. Cant. i. 


in which my country is involved 2 !" The dispute between the ponti- 
ficate and the empire appears to have been the predominant topic of 
Dante's mind. This circumstance has filled Dante's poem with strokes 
of satire. Every reader of Voltaire must remember that lively writer's 
paraphrase from the INFERNO, of the story of count Guido, in which 
are these inimitable lines. A Franciscan friar abandoned to Beelzebub 
thus exclaims : 

" Monsieur de Lucifer ! 

Je suis un Saint ; voyes ma robe grise : 

Je fus absous par le Chef de 1'Eglise. 

J'aurai, toujours, repondit le Demon, 

Un grand respect pour 1'Absolution ; 

On est lave de ses vielles sotises, 

Pourvu qu'apres autres ne soient commises. 

J'ai fait souvent cette distinction 

A tes pareils : et, grace a I'ltalie, 

Le Diable sait la Theologie. 

II dit et rit. Je ne repliquai rien 

A Belzebut, il raisonnoit trop bien. 

Lors il m'einpoigne, et d'un bras roide et ferine 

II appliqua sur ma triste epiderme 

Vingt coups de fouet, dont bien fort il me cuit: 

Que Dieu le rend a Boniface huit." 

Dante thus translated would have had many more readers than at 
present. I take this opportunity of remarking, that our author's per- 
petual reference to recent facts and characters is in imitation of Virgil, 
yet with this very material difference : the persons recognised in Vir- 
gil's sixth book, for instance the chiefs of the Trojan war, are the con- 
temporaries of the hero, not of the poet. The truth is, Dante's poem 
is a satirical history of his own times. 

Dante sees some of the ghosts of Purgatory advancing forward, more' 
meagre and emaciated than the rest. He asks how this could happen 
in a place where all live alike without nourishment. Virgil quotes the 
example of Meleager, who wasted with a firebrand, on the gradual ex- 
tinction of which his life depended. He also produces the comparison 
of a mirror reflecting a figure. These obscure explications do not satisfy 
the doubts of Dante. Statius, for his better instruction, explains how 
a child grows in the womb of the mother, how it is enlarged, and by 
degrees receives life and intellect. The drift of our author is apparent 
in these profound illustrations. He means to show his skifl in a sort of 
metaphysical anatomy. We see something of this in the TESORETTO 
of Brunette. Unintelligible solutions of a similar sort, drawn from a 
frivolous and mysterious philosophy, mark the writers of Dante's age. 

The PARADISE of Dante, the third part of this poem, resembles his 
PURGATORY. Its fictions, and its allegories, which suffer by being ex- 

21 Cant. xxiv. 


plained, are all conceived in the same chimerical spirit. The poet 
successively views the glory of the saints, of angels, of the holy Virgin, 
and at last of God himself. 

Heaven as well as hell, among the monks, had its legendary descrip- 
tion, which it was heresy to disbelieve, and which was formed on per- 
versions or misinterpretations of scripture. Our author's vision ends 
with the Deity, and we know not by what miraculous assistance he 
returns to earth. 

It must be allowed, that the scenes of Virgil's sixth book have many 
fine strokes of the terrible ; but Dante's colouring is of a more gloomy 
temperature. There is a sombrous cast in his imagination ; and he 
has given new shades of horror to the classical hell. We may say of 
Dante, that 


Grows DARKER at his FROWN*. 

The sensations of fear impressed by the Roman poet are less harassing 
to the repose of the mind : they have a more equable and placid effect. 
The terror of Virgil's tremendous objects is diminished by correctness 
of composition and elegance of style. We are reconciled to his Gor- 
gons and Hydras, by the grace of expression, and the charms of 

In the mean time, it may seem a matter of surprise, that the Italian 
poets of the thirteenth century, who restored, admired, and studied the 
classics, did not imitate their beauties. But while they possessed the 
genuine models of antiquity, their unnatural and eccentric habits of 
mind and manners, their attachments to system, their scholastic theo- 
logy, superstition, ideal love, and above all their chivalry, had corrupted 
every true principle of life and literature, and consequently prevented 
the progress of taste and propriety. They could not conform to the 
practices and notions of their own age, and to the ideas of the ancients, 
at the same time. They were dazzled with the imageries of Virgil and 
Homer, which they could not always understand or apply, or which 
they saw through the mist of prejudice and misconception. Their 
genius having once taken a false direction, when recalled to copy a 
just pattern, produced only constraint and affectation, a distorted and 
unpleasing resemblance. The early Italian poets disfigured, instead of 
adorning their works, by attempting to imitate the classics. The 
charms which we so much admire in Dante, do not belong to the 
Greeks and Romans. They are derived from another origin, and must 
be traced back to a different stock. Nor is it at the same time less 
surprising, that the later Italian poets, in more enlightened times, should 
have paid so respectful a compliment to Dante as to acknowledge no 
other model, and with his excellencies, to transcribe and perpetuate 
all his extravagancies. 

8 Par. L. ii. 720. 



Sackvilles Legend of Buckingham in the Mirrour for Magistrates. 
Additions by Higgins. Account of him. View of the early editions 
of this Collection. Specimen of Higgins s Legend of Cordelia, which 
is copied by Spenser. 

I NOW return to the MIRROUR FOR MAGISTRATES, and to Sackville's 
Legend of Buckingham, which follows his INDUCTION. 

The Complaynt O/*HENRYE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM, is written with 
a force and even elegance of expression, a copiousness of phraseology, 
and an exactness of versification, not to be found in any other parts of 
the collection. On the whole, it may be thought tedious and languid. 
But that objection unavoidably results from the general plan of these 
pieces. It is impossible that soliloquies of such prolixity, and designed 
to include much historical and even biographical matter, should every 
where sustain a proper degree of spirit, pathos, and interest. In the 
exordium are these nervous and correct couplets. 

Whom flattering Fortune falsely so beguilde, 
That loe, she slew, where earst ful smooth she smilde. 

And paynt it forth, that all estates maye knowe : 
Have they the warning, and be mine the woe. 

Buckingham is made to enter thus rapidly, yet with much address, 
into his fatal share of the civil broils between York and Lancaster. 
But what may boot to stay the Sisters three, 
When Atropos perforce will cut the thred ? 
The dolefull day was come*, when you might see 
Northampton field with armed men orespred. 

In these lines there is great energy. 

O would to God the cruell dismall day 

That gave me light fyrst to behold thy face, 

With foule eclipse had reft my sight away, 

The unhappie hower, the time, and eke the day, &c. 

And the following are an example of the simple and sublime united. 
And thou, Alecto, feede me with thy foode ! 
Let fall thy serpents from thy snaky heare ! 
For such reliefe well fits me in my moode, 

* [Shakspeare seems to have bur- Let grisly, gaping, ghastly wounds, un- 
lesqued these lines in one of Pistol's bind the sisters three, 

rants - Coaie, Atrvpos, I say. PARK.] 

.... Abridge my doleful days ! 


To feed my plaint with horroure and with feare ! 
With rage afresh thy venom'd worme areare. 

Many comparisons are introduced by the distressed speaker. But 
it is common for the best poets to forget that they are describing what 
is only related or spoken. The captive Proteus has his simile of the 
nightingale ; and Eneas decorates his narrative of the disastrous con- 
flagration of Troy with a variety of the most laboured comparisons. 

Buckingham in his reproaches against the traitorous behaviour of 
his ancient friend Banastre, utters this forcible exclamation, which 
breathes the genuine spirit of revenge, and is unloaded with poetical 

Hated be thou, disdainde of everie wight, 
And pointed at whereever thou shalt goe : 
A traiterous wretch, unworthy of the light 
Be thou esteernde : and, to increase thy woe, 
The sound be hatefull of thy name alsoe. 
And in this sort, with shame and sharpe reproch, 
Leade thou thy life, till greater grief approch. 

The ingenious writers of these times are perpetually deserting pro- 
priety for the sake of learned allusions. Buckingham exhorts the peers 
and princes to remember the fate of some of the most renowned heroes 
of antiquity, whose lives and misfortunes he relates at large, and often 
in the most glowing colours of poetry. Alexander's murther of Clitus 
is thus described in stanzas, pronounced by the poet and not by Buck- 

And deeply grave within your stonie harts 
The dreerie dole, that mightie Macedo 
With teares unfolded, wrapt in deadlie smarts, 
W T hen he the death of Clitus sorrowed so, 
Whom erst he murdred with the deadlie blow ; 
Raught in his rage upon his friend so deare, 
For which, behold loe how his panges appeare ! 

The launced speare he writhes out of the wound, 
From which the purple blood spins in his face : 
His heinous guilt when he returned found, 
He throwes himself uppon the corps, alas ! 
And in his armes how oft doth he imbrace 
His murdred friend ! And kissing him in value, 
Forth Howe the floudes of salt repentant raine. 

His friendes amazde at such a murther done, 
In fcarfull flockes begin to shrinke away ; 
And he thereat, with hcapcs of grief fordone, 
Hateth hiinsclie, wishing his latter day 


He calls for death, and loathing longer life, 

Bent to his bane refuseth kindlie foode, 

And plungde in depth of death and dolours strife 

Had queld a himselfe, had not his friendes withstoode. 

Loe he that thus has shed the guiltlesse bloode, 

Though he were king and keper over all, 

Yet chose he death, to guerdon death withall. 

This prince, whose peere was never under sunne, 
Whose glistening fame the earth did overglide, 
Which with his power the worlde welnigh had woune, 
His bloudy handes himselfe could not abide, 
"But folly bent with famine to have dide ; 
The worthie prince deemed in his regard 
That death for death could be but just reward. 

Our MIRROUR, having had three new editions in 1583 b , 1571, and 
1574< c , was reprinted in quarto in the year 1587 d > with the addition of 
many new lives, under the conduct of John Higgins. 

Higgins lived at Winsham in Somersetshire 6 . He was educated at 
Oxford, was a clergyman, and engaged in the instruction of youth. As 
a preceptor of boys, on the plan of a former collection by Nicholas 
Udal, a celebrated master of Eton school, he compiled the FLOSCULI 
OF TERENCE, a manual famous in its time, and applauded in a Latin 
epigram by the elegant Latin encomiast Thomas Newton of Cheshire f . 
In the pedagogic character he also published " HOLCOT'S DICTIONARIE, 
newlie corrected, amended, set in order, and enlarged, with many 
names of men, townes, beastes, fowles, etc. By which you may finde 

a killed: manqueller is murderer. Mirrour of the Mathematikes, A Mirrour 

b This edition, printed by Thomas of Monsters, &c. [The Mirror of Muta- 

Marshale, has 160 leaves, with a table of bilitie, or principall part of the Mirror for 

contents at the end. Magistrates by Ant. Munday, was printed 

c This edition, printed also for T. in 1579 ; and a Mirror of Magnanimitie, 

Marshe, is improperly enough entitled by Crompton, appeared in 1599. 
" The Last Parte of the Mirrour for Ma- Ritson added the following throng of 

gistrates," &c. But it contains all that is kindred titles : 

in the foregoing editions, and ends with The Mirronre of Golde, printed by Pinson 
Jane Shore, or Shore's Wife. It has 163 and by W. de Worde, 1522. 

leaves. In the title page the work is said A Myroure or Glasse for all spiritual Mi- 
to be " Newly corrected and amended." nisters, &c. 1551. 

They are all in quarto, and in black let- The Myrror of the Latin Tonge, &c. 
ter. [The propriety of this title is now 1567. 

substantiated, by the discovery of an edi- The Theatre, or Mirror of the World, 1569. 

tion of Higgins's work, unknown to War- The Mirrour of Madnes, &c. 1576. 

ton. It was printed by Marsh in 1574, The Mirrour of Mans Miseries, 1584. 

and entitled " The First Parte of the The Mirror of Martyrs, &c. 1601. 

Mirrour for Magistrates," &c. This will The Myrror of Pollice, &c. Herb. p. 96. 
explain the language of Higgins quoted PARK.] 

in the ensuing note. PRICK.] e Dedication, ut infr. 

d But in the Preface Higgins says he f In TERENTII FLOSCULOS N. Udalli 

began to prepare it twelve years before. et J. Higgini opera decerptos. Encom. 

In imitation of the title, a story-book was fol. 128. It was also prefixed to the book, 

published called The Mirrour of Mirth, with others. 
by R. D. 1583. bl. kit. 4to. Also The 


the Latine or Frenche of anie Englishe worde you will. By John Hig- 
gins, late student in Oxeforde^." In an engraved title-page are a few 
English verses. It is in folio, and printed for Thomas Marshe at 
London, 1572. The dedication to sir George Peckham, knight, is 
written by Higgins, and is a good specimen of his classical accomplish- 
ments. He calls Peckham his principal friend, and the most eminent 
patron of letters. A recommendatory copy of verses by Churchyard 
the poet is prefixed, with four Latin epigrams by others. Another of 
his works in the same profession is the NOMENCLATOR of Adrian Ju- 
nius, translated into English, in conjunction with Abraham Flemming, 
and printed at London, for Newberie and Durham, in 1585 h . It is 
dedicated in Latin to his most bountiful patron Doctor Valentine, mas- 
ter of Requests, and dean of Wells, from Winsham 1 , 1584. From this 
dedication, Higgins seems to have been connected with the school of 
Ilminster, a neighbouring town in Somersetshire 11 . He appears to have 
been living so late as the year 1602 ; for in that year he published an 
Answer to William Perkins, a forgotten controversialist, concerning 
Christ's descent into hell, dedicated from Winsham. 

To the MIRROUR FOR MAGISTRATES Higgins wrote a new INDUC- 
TION in the octave stanza ; and without assistance of friends, began a 
new series from Albanact the youngest son of Brutus, and the first king 
of Albanie or Scotland, continued to the emperor Caracalla 1 . In this 
edition by Higgins, among the pieces after the Conquest, first appeared 
the Life of CARDINAL WOLSEY, by Churchyard 1 "; of SIR NICHOLAS 
BURDET, by Baldwine [Higgins] 11 ; and of ELEANOR COBHAM, and 
of HUMFREY DUKE OF GLOUCESTER P, by Ferrers. Also the Legend 
of KING JAMES THE FOURTH OF SCOTLAND % said to have been penned 

B Perhaps at Trinity college, where one some other writer, since Churchyard com- 

of both his names occurs in 1566. plains of being " denied the fathering of a 

h Octavo. work that had won so much credit." He 

1 The Dedication of his Mirrour for at the same time protests before God and 

Magistrates is from the same place. the world, that Shore's wife was his pen- 

k He says, that he translated it in Lon- ning, and he would be glad to vindicate 
don. " Q.UO facto, novus interpres Walde- his open wrong with the best blood in his 
nus, Ilmestriae gymnasiarcha, moriens, body, did not his old years utterly forbid 
priusquam manurn operi summam admo- such combat. This anecdote occurs be- 
visset,me amicum veterem suum omnibus fore a reprint of Shore's Wife, augmented 
libris suis et hoc imprimis Nomenclatore by 21 stanzas, in Churchyard's Challenge, 
[his translation] donavit." But Higgins 1593. Nash, probably in reference to the 
found his own version better, which he above, thus complimented the old court- 
therefore published, yet with a part of his poet in the same year: " Shore's Wife is 
friend's. young, though you be stept in years ; in 

1 At fol. 108. a. The two last lives in her shall you live, when you are dead." 

the latter, or what may be called Baldwin's Foure Letters Confuted, &c. Antony 

part of this edition, are Jane Shore and Chute published, in 1593, "Beautie Dis- 

Cardinal Wolsey by Churchyard. Colo- honoured, written under the title of Shore's 

phon, " Imprinted at London by Henry Wife," in six-line stanzas. Vid. infra, p. 

Marshe, being the assigne of "Thomas 233, note J. PARK.] 

Marshe neare to saint Dunstanes clmrche m Fol. 265 b. n Fol. 244 a. 

in Fleetestreete, 1587." It has 272 leaves. Fol. 140 b. p Fol. 146 a. 

The last signature is M m 4. [This, it q Fol. 253 b. 
seems, had been fraudulently claimed by 


fiftie yeares ago*, and of FLODDEN FIELD, said to be of equal antiquity, 
and subscribed FRANCIS DINGLEY S , the name of a poet who has not 
otherwise occurred. Prefixed is a recommendatory poem in stanzas by 
the above-mentioned Thomas Newton of Cheshire*, who understood 
much more of Latin than of English poetry *. 

The most poetical passage of Higgins's performance in this collection 
is in his Legend of QUEENE CORDILA, or Cordelia, king Lear's young- 
est daughter 11 . Being imprisoned in a dungeon, and coucht on straive, 
she sees amid the darkness of the night a griesly ghost approach, 

Eke nearer still with stealing steps shee drewe : 
Shee was of colour pale and deadly hewe. 

Her garment was figured with various sorts of imprisonment, and pic- 
tures of violent and premature death. 

Her clothes resembled thousand kindes of thrall, 
And pictures plaine of hastened deathes withall. 

Cordelia, in extreme terror, asks, 

What wight art thou, a foe or fawning frend ? 

If Death thou art, I pray thee make an end 

But th' art not Death ! Art thou some Fury sent 
My woefull corps with paynes more to torment ? 

With that she spake, " I am thy frend DESPAYRE. 
Now if thou art to dye no whit afrayde 
Here shalt thou choose of instruments, beholde, 
Shall rid thy restlesse life." 

DESPAIR then, throwing her robe aside, shows Cordelia a thousand 
instruments of death, knives, sharp swordes, and ponyards, all bedyde 
with bloode and poysons. She presents the sword with which queen 
Dido slew herself. 

" Lo ! here the blade that Dido of Carthage hight," &c. 

Cordelia takes this sword, but doubtfull yet to dye. DESPAIR then 
represents to her the state and power which she enjoyed in France, her 
troops of attendants, and the pleasures of the court she had left. She 
then points out her present melancholy condition and dreary situation. 

She shewde me all the dongeon where I sate, 

The dankish walles, the darkes, and bade me smell 

And byde the savour if I like it well. 

r Fol. 255 b. s Fol. 258 b. 94 of this volume. He has a copy of Latin 

1 Subscribed THOMAS NEWTONUS, verses prefixed to R. Rubbiird's transla- 

Ceysireshyrius, 1587. tion of Ripley's Compound of Alchymy, 

* [This appears from his tribute to 1591. PARK.] 

Heywood the epigrammatist, cited at p. " Fol. 36 b. 


Cordelia gropes for the sword, or fatall knife, in the dark, which DE- 
SPAIR places in her hand. 

DESPAYRE to ayde my senceless limmes was glad, 
And gave the blade : to end my woes she bad. 

At length, Cordelia's sight fails her so that she can see only DESPAIR, 
who exhorts her to strike. 

And by her elbowe DEATH for me did watch. 

DESPAIR at last gives the blow. The temptation of the Redcrosse 
knight by DESPAIR in Spenser's FAERIE QUEENE, seems to have been 
copied, yet with high improvements, from this scene. These stanzas 
of Spenser bear a strong resemblance to what I have cited from COR- 
DELIA'S Legend. 

Then gan the villaine w him to oueraw, 
And brought unto him swords, ropes, poysons, fire, 
And all that might him to perdition draw ; 
And bade him chuse what death he would desire : 
For death was due to him that had prouokt God's ire. 

But when as none of them he sawe him take, 
He to him raught a dagger sharpe and keene, 
And gaue it him in hand : his hand did quake 
And tremble like a leafe of aspin greene, 
And troubled bloud through his pale face was seene 
To come and goe, with tydinges from the hart, 
As it a running messenger had beene. 
At last, resolv'd to worke his finall smart 
He lifted up his hand that backe againe did start. x 

The three first books of the FAERIE QUEENE were published in 1590 ; 
Higgins's Legend of Cordelia in 1587 [1574]. 

At length the whole was digested anew with additions, in 1610, by 
Richard Niccols, an ingenious poet, of whom more will be said here- 
after, under the following title: " A MIRROUR FOR MAGISTRATES?, 
being a true Chronicle-history of the vntimely falles of svch vnfortvnate 
princes and men of note as haue happened since the first entrance of 
Brute into this Hand vntill this our age. NEWLY ENLARGED with a 
last part called a WINTER NIGHT'S VISION being an addition of such 
Tragedies especially famous as are exempted in the former Historic, 
with a poem, annexed called ENGLANDS ELIZA. At London, im- 
printed by Felix Kyngston, 1610 Z ." Niccols arranged his edition thus. 

w That is, Despair. Itistorica-Litteraria, prefixed to the 

x Faer. Qu. i. x. 50. KoNGS-SKUGG-Slo, or Royal Mirrour, 

y Of the early use in the middle ages an ancient prose work in Norwegian, 

of the word Speculum, as the title of a written about 1170, printed in 1768, 4to. 

hook, see Joh. Finnaeus's DisserMtio- fol. xviii. z A thick quarto. 


Higgins's INDUCTION is at the head of the Lives from Brutus to the 
Conquest. Those from the Conquest to LORD CROMWELL'S legend 
written by Dray ton and now first added % are introduced by Sackville's 
INDUCTION. After this are placed such lives as had been before omitted, 
ten in number, written by Niccols himself, with an INDUCTION 6 . As 
it illustrates the history of this work, especially of Sackville's share in 
it, I will here insert a part of Niccols's preface prefixed to those TRA- 
GEDIES which happened after the Conquest, beginning with that of 
Robert Tresilian. " Hailing hitherto continued the storie from the first 
entrance of BRVTE into this iland, with the FALLES of svch PRINCES 
as were neuer before this time in one volume comprised, I now proceed 
with the rest, which take their beginning from the Conquest : whose 
penmen being many and diuerse, all diuerslie affected in the method of 
this their MIRROUR, I purpose onlie to follow the intended scope of 
that most honorable personage, who by how mvch he did surpasse .the 
rest in the eminence of his noble condition, by so mvch he hath ex- 
ceeded them all in the excellencie of his heroicall stile, which with 
golden pen he hath limmed out to posteritie in that worthie object of 
his minde the TRAGEDIE OF THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM, and in his 
Preface then intituled MASTER SACKUILS INDUCTION. This worthy 
president of learning intended to perfect all this storie of himselfe from 
the Conquest. Being called to a more serious expence of his time in 
the great state affaires of his most royall ladie and soueraigne, he left 
the dispose thereof to M. Baldwine, M. Ferrers, and others, the com- 
posers of these Tragedies : who continving their methode, which was by 
way of dialogue or interlocvtion betwixt euerie Tragedie, gaue it onlie 
place before the dvke of Bvckingham's COMPLAINT. Which order I 
since hauing altered, haue placed the INDUCTION in the beginninge, 
with euerie Tragedie following according to svccession and ivst com- 
pvtation of time, which before was not obserued ." 

In the Legend of King Richard the Third, Niccols appears to have 
copied some passages from Shakspeare's tragedy on that history. In 
the opening of the play Richard says, 

Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths, 
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments ; 
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings ; 
Our dreadfull marches to delightfull measures*. 
Grim-visaged War hath smoothed his wrinkled front ; 
And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds, 

a Dray ton wrote three other legends logue at fol. cxiv. b. edit. 1559. ut supr. 
on this plan, Robert duke of Normandy, * [A measure was, strictly speaking, a 

Matilda, and Pierce Gaveston, of which court-dance of a stately turn ; but the word 

I shall speak more particularly under that was also employed to express dances in 

writer. general. Steevens aputl Shakspeare. 

b Fol. 555. PARK.] 

c l*'ol. 25.'J. Compare Bald wyne's Pro- 


To fright the souls of fearfull adversaries, 
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber 
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute. c 

These lines evidently gave rise to part of Richard's soliloquy in Nic- 

cols's Legend. 

The battels fought in field before 

Were turn'd to meetings of sweet amitie : 
The war-god's thundring cannons dreadfull rore, 
And rattling drum-sounds warlike harmonic, 
To sweet-tun' d noise of pleasing minstralsie* 

God Mars laid by his Launce and tooke his Lute, 
And turn'd his rugged frownes to smiling lookes ; 
In stead of crimson fields, warres fatall fruit, 
He bathed his limbes in Cypre's warbling brookes, 
And set his thoughts upon her wanton lookes. d 

Part of the tent-scene in Shakspeare is also imitated by Niccols. 
Richard, starting from his horrid dream, says, 

Methought the souls of all that I had murder'd 
Came to my tent ; and every one did threat 
Tomorrow's vengeance on the head of Richard. 6 

So Niccols, 

I thought that all those murthered ghosts, whom I 
By death had sent to their vntimely graue, 
With balefull noise about my tent did crie, 
And of the heauens with sad complaint did craue, 
That they on guiltie wretch might vengeance haue : 
To whom I thought the iudge of heauen gaue eare, 
And 'gainst me gaue a Judgement full of feare f . 

But some of the stanzas immediately following, which are formed 
on Shakspeare's ideas, yet with some original imagination, will give 
the reader the most favourable idea of Niccols as a contributor to 
this work. 

For loe, eftsoones, a thousand hellish hags, 

Leaning th' abode of their infernall cell, 

Seasing on me, my hateful 1 body drags 

c Act i. sc. 1. d Pag. 753. Most cruelly to death, and of his Wife, and 

e Act v. sc. ult. Drayton has also friend 

described these visionary terrors of Ri- Lord Hastinges, with pale hands prepared 
chard. Polyolb. S. xxii. as they would rend 

When to the guilty king, the black fore- Hirn Peacemeal : at which oft he roareth 

running night, ln hls slee P" 

Appear the dreadful ghosts of Henry and The Polyolbion was published in 1612. 

his Son, fol. 
Of his owne brother George, and his two f Pag. 764. 

nephewes, done 


From forth my bed into a place like hell, 
Where fiends did naught but bellow, howle and yell, 
Who in sterne strife stood 'gainst each other bent, 
Who should my hatefull bodie most torment. 

Tormented in such trance long did I lie, 
Till extreme feare did rouze me where I lay, 
And caus'd me from my naked bed to flie : 
Alone within my tente I durst not stay, 
This dreadfull dreame my soule did so affray : 
When wakt I was from sleepe, I for a space 
Thought I had beene in some infernall place. 

About mine eares a buzzing feare still flew, 
My fainting knees languish for want of might ; 
Vpon my bodie stands an icie dew ; 
My heart is dead within, and with affright 
The haire vpon my head doth stand vpright : 
Each limbe abovt me quaking, doth resemble 
A riuers rush, that with the wind doth tremble. 

Thus with my guiltie soules sad torture torne 
The darke nights dismall houres I past away : 
But at cockes crowe, the message of the morne, 
My feare I did conceale, c.s 

If internal evidence was not a proof, we are sure from other evi- 
dences that Shakspeare's tragedy preceded Niccols's legend. The tra- 
gedy was written about 1597. Niccols, at eighteen years of age, was 
admitted into Magdalene college in Oxford, in the year 1602 h . It is 
easy to point out other marks of imitation. Shakspeare has taken 
nothing from Seagars's Richard the Third, printed in Baldwine's col- 
lection, or first edition, in the year 1559. Shakspeare, however, pro* 
bably catched the idea of the royal shades, in the same scene of the 
tragedy before us, appearing in succession and speaking to Richard 
and Richmond, from the general plan of the MIRROUR FOR MAGI- 
STRATES : more especially, as many of Shakspeare's ghosts there intro- 
duced, for instance, King Henry the Sixth, Clarence, Rivers, Hastings, 
and Buckingham, are the personages of five of the legends belonging 
to this poem. 

B Pag. 764. Magdalene Hall, where he was graduated 

h Registr. Univ. Oxon. He retired to in Arts, 1606. Ibid. 



View of Niccols's edition of the Mirrour for Magistrates. High esti- 
mation of this Collection. Historical Plays, whence. 

BY way of recapitulating what has been said, and in order to give a 
connected and uniform view of the MIRROUR FOR MAGISTRATES in its 
most complete and extended state, its original contents and additions, 
I will here detail the subjects of this poem as they stand in this last or 
Niccols's edition of 1610, with reference to two preceding editions, and 
some other incidental particularities. 

Niccols's edition (after the Epistle Dedicatorie prefixed to Higgins's 
edition of 1587, an Advertisement to the Reader by Niccols, a Table 
of Contents, and Thomas Newton's recommendatory verses above-men- 
tioned,) begins with an Induction called the AUTHOR'S INDUCTION, 
written by Higgins*, and properly belonging to his edition. Then 
follow these Lives. 

Albanact youngest son of Brutus a . Humbcr king of the Huns. 
King Locrine eldest son of Brutus. Queen Elstride concubine of Lo- 
crine. Sabrina daughter of Locrine. King Madan. King Malin. 
King Mempric. King Bladud. Queen Cordelia. Morgan king of 
Albany. King Jago. Ferrex. Porrex. King Pinnar slain by Mo- 
lucius Donwallo. King Stater. King Rudacke of Wales. King Ki- 
marus. King Morindus. King Emerianus. King Cherinnus. King 
Varianus. Irelanglas cousin to Cassibelane. Julius Cesar. Claudius 
Tiberius Nero. Caligula. King Guiderius. Lelius Hamo. Tiberius 
Drusus. Domitius Nero. Galba. Vitellius. Londric the Pict. Se- 
verus. Fulgentius a Pict. Geta. Caracalla b . All these from Alba- 
nact, and in the same order, form the first part of Higgins's edition of 
the year 1587 c . But none of them are in Baldwyne's, or the first, col- 
lection, of the year 1559 ; and, as I presume, these lives are all writ- 
ten by Higgins. Then follow in Niccols's edition, Carausius, Queen 
Helena, Vortigern, Uther Pendragon, Cadwallader, Sigebert, Ebba, 
Egelred, Edric, and Harold, all written by Thomas Blener Hasset, and 
never before printed f. We have next a new title d , "The variable 
Fortvne and vnhappie Falles of svch princes as hath happened since 
the Conquest. Wherein may be scene, c. At London, by Felix 
Kyngston. 1609." Then, after an Epistle to the Reader, subscribed 

* [In 17 seven -line stanzas, altered c Where they end at . fol. 108 a. 

from that in the edition of 1575, which f [Blenerhasset's contributions to this 

had 21 stanzas. HERBERT.] edition had been previously and separately 

3 Pag. 1. printed in 1578. PRICK.] 

b Ending with pag. 185. d After p. 250. 


R.N. (that is Richard Niccols), follow, Sackville's INDUCTION. Cavyll's 
Roger Mortimer. Ferrers's Tresilian. Ferrers's Thomas of Wood- 
stock. Churchyard's [Chaloner's] Mowbray. Ferrers's King Richard 
the Second. Phaer's Owen Glendour. Henry Percy. Baldwyne's 
Richard earl of Cambridge. Baldwyne's Montague earl of Salisbury. 
Ferrers's Eleanor Cobham. Ferrers's Humfrey duke of Gloucester. 
Baldwyne's William De La Poole earl of Suffolk. Baldwyne's Jack 
Cade. Ferrers's Edmund duke of Somerset. Richard Plantagenet 
duke of York. Lord Clifford. Tiptoft earl of Worcester. Richard 
lord Warwick. King Henry the Sixth. George Plantagenet duke of 
Clarence. Skelton's King Edward the Fourth. Woodvile lord Rivers. 
Dolman's Lord Hastings. Sackville's Duke of Buckingham. Colling- 
burne. Cavyll's Blacksmith. Higgins's Sir Nicholas Burdet. Church- 
yard's Jane Shore. Churchyard's Wolsey. Drayton's Lord Cromwell. 
All these 6 , (Humfrey, Cobham, Burdet, Cromwell, and Wolsey, ex- 
cepted,) form the whole, but in a less chronological disposition, of 
Baldwyne's collection, or edition, of the year 1559, as we have seen 
above : from whence they were reprinted, with the addition of Hum- 
frey, Cobham, Burdet, and Wolsey, by Higgins, in his edition afore- 
said of 1587, and where Wolsey closes the work. Another title then 
appears in Niccols's edition f , "A WINTER NIGHTS VISION. Being an 
addition of svch Princes especially famovs, who were exempted in the 
former HISTORIE. By Richard Niccols, Oxon. Magd. Hall. At Lon- 
don, by Felix Kyngston, 1610." An Epistle to the Reader, and an 
elegant Sonnet to Lord Charles Howard lord High Admiral, both by 
Niccols, are prefixed s. Then follows Niccols's INDUCTION to these new 
lives h . They are, King Arthur. Edmund Ironside. Prince Alfred. 
Godwin earl of Kent. Robert Curthose. King Richard the First. King 
John. King Edward the Second. The two Young Princes murthered 
in the Tower, and King Richard the Third 1 . Our author, but with 
little propriety, has annexed " ENGLAND'S ELIZA, or the victoriovs 
and trivmphant reigne of that virgin empresse of sacred memorie Eliza- 
beth Queene of England, &c. At London, by Felix Kyngston, 1610." 
This is a title page. Then follows a Sonnet to the virtuous Ladie the 
Lady Elizabeth Clere, wife to sir Francis Clere, and an Epistle to the 
Reader. A very poetical INDUCTION is prefixed to the ELIZA, which 
contains the history of queen Elizabeth, then just dead, in the octave 
stanza. Niccols, however, has not entirely preserved the whole of the 
old collection, although he made large additions. He has omitted 
King James the First of Scotland, which appears in Baldwyne's edition 
of 1559 k , arid in Higgins's of 1587 *. He has also omitted, and pro- 

e That is, from p. 250. This was in 1596. See also page 861. 

f After p. 547. stanza iv. 

g From the Sonnet it appears, that our h From p. 555. 

author Niccols was on board Howard's * Ending .with p. 769. 

ship the Arke, when Cadiz was taken. . k At fol. xlii. b. 1 Fol. 137b. 



bably for the same obvious reason, King James the Fourth of Scotland, 
which we find in Higgins m . Nor has Niccols retained the Battle of 
Flodden-field, which is in Higgins's edition 11 . Niccols has also omitted 
Seagars's King Richard the Third, which first occurs in Baldwyne's 
edition of 1559, and afterwards in Higgins's of 1587 P But Niccols 
has written a new Legend on this subject, cited above, and one of the 
best of his additional lives 1. This edition by Niccols, printed by Felix 
Kyngston in 1610, I believe was never reprinted*. It contains eight 
hundred and seventy-five pages. 

The MIRROUR FOR MAGISTRATES is obliquely ridiculed in bishop 
Hall's SATIRES, published in 1597. 

Another, whose more heavie-hearted saint 
Delights in nought but notes of ruefull plaint, 
Urgeth his melting muse with solemn teares, 
Rhyme of some drearie fates of LUCKLESS PEERS. 
Then brings he up some BRANDED WHINING GHOST 
To tell how old Misfortunes have him tost r . 

That it should have been the object even of an ingenious satirist, is so 
far from proving that it wanted either merit or popularity, that the con- 
trary conclusion may be justly inferred. It was, however, at length 
superseded by the growing reputation of a new poetical chronicle, en- 
titled ALBION'S ENGLAND, published before the beginning of the reign 
of James the First f. That it was in high esteem throughout the reign 

m Fol. 253 a. In Ulpian Futlwell's critic is abused for affecting to censure this 

Flower of Fame, an old quarto book both poem. Loud. 1598. Sat. iv. This is un- 

in prose and verse, in praise of the reign doubtedly our author Hall just quoted, 

of Henry the Eighth, and printed by W. (See Marston's Scourge of Villanie, printed 

Hoskyns in 1575, is a tragic monologue, 1599. Lib. iii. Sat. x.) 

in the octave stanza, of James the Fourth _, 

of Scotland, and of his son. fol. 22 b. The Fond censurer! wh Y sh uld those Mtr- 

whole title is, " The Flower of Fame, con- c .. rors&e < 

taining the bright renowne and most for- So Vlle ' thee l whlch better 

tunate reigne of Henry viii. Wherein is _, 

mention of matters by the rest of our chro- Exquisite then, and in our polish d times 

nographers overpassed. Compyled by VI- JJay f run for s . e . ncefu l *2*i B r? \ 9 

pian Fullwell." Annexed is a panegyric J hat not *>cra firina from thy spight ? 

of three .of the same Henry's noble and But mu ! 1 ** enmous *Z r ? fan S s needs 

vertuous queenes. And "The service done ~ ... J ^ 

at Haddington in Scotland the seconds On MAGISTRATES MIRROUR? Mustthou 
year of the reigne of King Edward the ls detra f . 

Sixt" Bl. letU Fullwell will occur here- And stnue J, worke hls antient honors 

after in his proper place. 

n p j f)K*Q a \Vhat shall not Rosamond, or Gaueston, 

Fol.' cxlvii. b. Fol. 230 b. P e their sweet H P S without detraction ? 

* Pas 750 ^ ut must our moderne Ci-itticks enuious 

* [A new title-page only was added to eye ' &c * 

the unsold copies, with the date of 1621. The two last pieces indeed do not pro- 
Herbert says the first part was reprinted perly belong to this collection, and are only 
in 1619. MS. Note. PARK.] on the same plan. Rosamond is Daniel's 
r B. i. Sat. v. duodecim. But in Cer- COMPLAINT OF ROSAMOND, and Gaueston 
taine Satyres by John Marston, subjoined is Drayton's monologue on that subject. 
to his Pygmalion's Image, an academical f [Wood gives it as his report, that the 


of queen Elizabeth, appears not only from its numerous editions, but 
from the testimony of sir Philip Sidney, and other cotemporary writers 3 . 
It is ranked among the most fashionable pieces of the times in the me- 
trical preface prefixed to Jasper Heywood's THYESTES of Seneca, trans- 
lated into English verse, and published in 1560*. It must be remem- 
bered that only Baldwyne's part had yet appeared, and that the trans- 
lator is supposed to be speaking to Seneca. 

In Lyncolnes Inne, and Temples twayne, 

Grayes Inne, and many mo, 
Thou shalt them fynde whose paynefull pen 

Thy verse shall florishe so ; 
That Melpornen, thou wouldst well weene, 

Had taught them for to wright, 
And all their woorks with stately style 

And goodly grace to endight. 
There shalt thou se the selfe same Northe, 

Whose woork his witte displayes ; 
And DYALL doth of PRINCES paynte, 

And preache abroade his prayse u . 
There Sackvyldes SONNETS v sweetly sauste, 

And featlye fyned bee : 
There Norton's w Ditties do delight, 

There Yelverton's* do flee 

Mirror for Magistrates was esteemed the 1579 is the same. [The translation of 

best piece of poetry of those times, if^/- Plutarch was by the same sir Thomas 

bion's England (which was by some pre- North. PRICE.] There is Doni's Morall 

ferred) did not stand in its way. Ath. Philosophic from the Italian by sir Thomas 

Oxon. i. 402. PARK.] North, in 1601. 

8 Sydney says, " I esteem the MIRROUR v Sackville lord Buckhurst, the contri- 

OF MAGISTRATES to be furnished of beau- butor to the Mirrour for Magistrates. I 

tifull partes." He then mentions Surrey's have never seen his Sonnets, which would 

Lyric pieces. Defence of Poesie, fol. 561. be a valuable accession to our old poetry, 

ad calc. Arcad. Lond. 1629. fol. Sidney But probably the term Satinets here means 

died in 1586. so that this was written only verses in general, and may signify 

before Higgins's, and consequently Nic- nothing more than his part in the Mirrour 

cols's, additions. for Magistrates, and his Gorboduc. [Mr. 

1 Coloph. " Imprinted at London in Haslewood observes, that the lines in the 

Fletestrete in the house late Thomas Ber- text were " in print before either the com- 

thelettes. Cum priv. &c. Anno M.D.LX." munication was made to the Mirror for 

duodecim. bl. lett. It is dedicated in verse Magistrates, or the play performed," and 

to sir John Mason. that a sonnet by Sackville is prefixed to 

u Sir Thomas North, second son of Ed- sir Thomas Hoby's " Courtier of Count 

ward lord North of Kirtling, translated Baldessar Castilio." (1561.) PRICE.] 
from French into English Antonio Gue- w Norton is Sackville's coadjutor in Gor- 

vara's Horologium Principum. This trans- boduc. 

lation was printed in 1557, and dedicated x The Epilogue to Gascoigne's Jocasta, 

to Queen Mary, fol. Again, 1548, 1582, acted at Gray's-inn in 1566, was written 

4to. This is the book mentioned in the by Christopher Yelverton, a student of 

text. North studied in Lincoln's Inn in that inn, afterwards a knight and a judge, 

the reign of queen Mary. I am not sure I have never seen his Ditties hnre men- 

that the translator of Plutarch's Lives in tioned. 


Well pewrde with pen : such yong men three 

As weene thou mightst agayne, 
To be begotte as Pallas was 

Of myghtie Jove his brayne. 
There heare thou shalt a great reporte 

Of BALDWYNE'S worthie name, 

Proclayme eternall fame. 
And there the gentle Blunduilley is 

By name and eke by kynde, 
Of whom we learne by Plutarches lore 

What frute by foes to fynde. 
There Bauaiide bydes 2 , that turnde his toyle 

A common wealth to frame, 
And greater grace in English gyves 

To woorthy author s name. 
There Gouge a gratefull gaynes hath gotte, 

Reporte that runneth ryfe ; 
Who crooked compasse doth describe 
And Zodiake of lyfe a . 

A pryncely place in Parnasse hill 

For these there is preparde, 
Whence crowne of glitteryng glorie hangs 

For them a right rewarde. 
Whereas the lappes of Ladies nyne, 

Shall dewly them defende, 
That have preparde the lawrell leafe 

About theyr heddes to bende. 
And where their pennes shall hang full high, &c. 

These, he adds, are alone qualified to translate Seneca's tragedies. 

In a small black-lettered tract entitled the TOUCH-STONE OF WITTES, 
chiefly compiled, with some slender additions, from William Webbe's 
DISCOURSE OF ENGLISH POETRIE, written by Edward Hake, and 
printed at London by Edmund Botifaunt in 1588, this poem is men- 

y Thomas Blundeville of Newton-Flot- Middle Temple, translated into English 
man in Norfolk, from whence his dedica- Ferrarius Montanus De recta Reipullicce 
tion to lord Leicester of an English version Administratioiie, Dated from the Middle 
of Furio's ^Spanish tract on Counsels and Temple, in a Dedication to queen Eliza- 
Counselors is dated, Apr. 1, 1570. He beth, December 20, 1559. 4to. black lett. 
printed many other prose pieces, chiefly Printed by John Kingston. " A woorke 
translations. His Plutarch mentioned in of Joannes Ferrarius Montanus touchinge 
the text, is perhaps a manuscript in the the good orderinge of a common weale, 
British Museum, PLUTARCHS COMMEN- &c. Englished by William Bauande." He 
TARY that learning is requisite to a prince, was of Oxford. 

translated into English meeter by Thomas a Barnaby Googe's Palingenius will be 

JBlundevile, MSS. Reg. 18. A. 43. spoken of hereafter. 

* William Bavande, a student in the 


tioned with applause : " Then have we the MIRROUR OF MAGISTRATES 
lately augmented by my friend mayster John Higgins, and penned by 
the choysest learned wittes, which for the stately-proportioned uaine of 
the heroick style, and good meetly proportion of uerse, may challenge 
the best of Lydgate, and all our late rhymers b ." That sensible old 
English critic Edmund Bolton, in a general criticism on the style of 
our most noted poets before the year 1600*, places the MIRROUR FOR 
MAGISTRATES in a high rank. It is under that head of his HYPER- 
CRITICA, entitled " Prime Gardens for gathering English according to 
the true gage or standard of the tongue about fifteen or sixteen years 
ago." The extract is a curious piece of criticism, as written by a judi- 
cious cotemporary. Having mentioned our prose writers, the chief of 
which are More, Sidney, queen Elizabeth, Hooker, Saville, cardinal 
Alan, Bacon, and Raleigh, he proceeds thus : " In verse there are Ed- 
mund Spenser's HYMNES c . I cannot advise the allowance of other his 
poems as for practick English, no more than I can Jeffrey Chaucer, 
Lydgate, Pierce Plowman, or LAUREATE Skelton. It was laid as a 
fault to the charge of Salust, that he used some old outworn words stoln 
out of Cato in his books de Originibus. And for an historian in our 
tongue to affect the like out of those our poets, would be accounted a 

b Fol. vii. a. duodecim. I know but little 
more of this forgotten writer, than that he 
wrote also, " A TOUCHESTONE for this 
time present, expressly declaring such 
mines, enormities, and abuses, as trouble 
the church of God and our Christian com- 
monwealth at this daye, &c. Newly sett 
foorth by E. H. Imprinted at London by 
Thomas Hacket, and are to be solde at his 
shop at the Greene Dragon in the Royall 
Exchange, 1574." duodec. At the end of 
the "Epistle dedicatorie to his knowne 
friende Mayster Edward Godfrey, mer- 
chant," his name Edward Hake is sub- 
scribed at length. Annexed is, "A Com- 
pendious fourme of education, to be dili- 
gently obserued of all parentes and schole- 
masters in the tray ningvp of their children 
and schollers in learning. Gathered into 
Englishe meeter by Edward Hake." It 
is an epitome of a Latin tract De pueris 
statim ac liberaliser instituendis. In the 
dedication, to maister John Harlowe his 
approoued friende, he calls himself an at- 
tourney in the Common Pleas, observing 
at the same time, that the " name of an 
Attourney in the common place [pleas] is 
now a dayes growen into contempt." He 
adds another circumstance of his life, that 
he was educated under John Hopkins, 
whom I suppose to be the translator of 
the Psalms. [See p. 147. of this volume. 
" You being trained vp together with me 
your poore schoolfellow, with the in- 
structions of that learned and exquisite 

teacher, Maister John Hopkins, thatworthy 
schoolemaister,nay rather that most worthy 
parent vnto all children committed to 
his charge of education. Of whose me- 
mory, if I should in such an opportunity 
as this is, be forgetful," &c. I will give a 
specimen of this little piece, which shows 
at least that he learned versification under 
his master Hopkins. He is speaking of 
the Latin tongue. (Signat. G. 4.) 

Whereto, as hath been sayde before, 

The Fables do inuite, 
With morall sawes in couert tales : 

Whereto rite 
Fine Comedies with pleasure sawst, 

Which, as it were by play, 
Do teache unto philosophic 

A perfit ready way. * 

So as nathles we carefull be 

To auoyde all bawdie rimes, 
And wanton iestes of poets vayne 

That teache them filthie crimes. 
Good stories from the Bible chargde, 

And from some civill style, 
As Quintus Curtius and such like, 

To reade them other while, &c. 

Compare Ames, p. 322. 389. 

* [But not written till 1616, as he 
mentions Bishop Montague's edition of the 
works of James I. which was published in 
that year. See infra, note d . PARK.] 

c The pieces mentioned in this extract 
will be considered in their proper places. 


foul oversight. My judgement is nothing at all in poems or poesie, 
arid therefore I dare not go far; but will simply deliver my mind con- 
cerning those authors among us, whose English hath in my conceit most 
propriety, and is nearest to the phrase of court, and to the speech used 
among the noble, and among the better sort in London: the two sove- 
reign seats, and as it were parliament tribunals, to try the question in. 
Brave language are Chapman's Iliads. The works of Samuel Daniel 
containe somewhat aflat, but yet withal a very pure and copious Eng- 
lish, and words as warrantable as any mans, and fitter perhaps for prose 
than measure. Michael Drayton's Heroical Epistles are well worth the 
reading also, for the purpose of our subject, which is to furnish an Eng- 
lish historian with choice and copy of tongue. Queen Elizabeth's verses, 
those which I have seen and read, some exstant in the elegant, witty, and 
artificial book of the ART OF ENGLISH POETRIE, the work, as the fame 
is, of one of her gentlemen-pensioners, Puttenham, are princely as her 
prose. Never must be forgotten ST. PETER'S COMPLAINT, and those 
other serious poems said to be father Southwell's : the English whereof, 
as it is most proper, so the sharpness and light of wit is very rare in 
them. Noble Henry Constable was a great master in English tongue, 
nor had any gentleman of our nation a more pure, quick, or higher 
delivery of conceit, witness among all other that Sonnet* of his before 
his Majesty's LEPANTO. I have not seen much of sir Edward Dyer's 
poetry f. Among the lesser late poets, George Gascoigne's Works may 

* [A very poor specimen of Constable's are warrantably assigned to him; other 

poetic talent, the praise of which confers short poems occur among the Rawlinson 

an equal honour on Bolton's critical judge- MSS. in the Bodleian library, and one of 

inent. PARK.] them bears the popular burden of " My 

f [Puttenham says, " For dittie and mind to me a kingdom is." 
amourous ode I finde Sir Walter Raw- [The time of Sir Edward Dyer's birth 

leygh's vayne most loftie, insolent, and and death are alike veiled in uncertainty, 

passionate, Maister Edward Dyar, for ele- The former Mr. Ellis computes to have 

gie most sweete, solempne, and of high been about 1540, and he lived till the reign 

conceit." of King James. According to Aubrey, he 

[To this passage Drummond thus ad- was of the same family as the judge, and 

verted, in his conversation with Ben Jon- proved a great spendthrift. Aubrey styles 

son: " He who writeth the arte of English him of Sharpham park, Somersetshire. He 

poesy, praiseth much Rawleigh and Dyer; was educated at Oxford, and as Wood in- 

but their works are so few that are come timates at Baliol College. Obtaining the 

to my hands, I cannot well say any thing character of a well-bred man, and having 

of them." Drummond's Works, p. 226, Sidney and other distinguished persons 

1711. fol. for his associates, he was taken into the 

[It is the further remark of Mr. Ellis, service of the court. By queen Elizabeth 

that the lot of Dyer, as a poet, has been he was sent on several embassies, parti- 

rather singular: " His name is generally cularly to Denmark in 1589, and had 

coupled with that of Sir P. Sidney and of the chancellorship of the garter conferred 

the most fashionable writers of the age ; on him at his return, with the honour of 

and yet Bolton, who was almost a contem- knighthood. It is not improbable that his 

porary critic, professes not to have seen property was squandered, as Aubrey affirms 

much of his poetry." Specim. of English it to have been, by his credulous attach- 

Poets, ii. 186. ment to rosicrusian chemistry under those 

[In the Paradise of Daintie Devises, one infatuated devotees Dr. Dee and Edward 
poem signed M. D. is presumed by Ritson Kelly. Wood erroneously speaks of him 
in his Bibliographia to denote Master Dyer. as a contributor to the collection of poet- 
Six pieces preserved in England's Helicon ical flowers, called "England's Parnassus," 


be endured. But the best of these times, if Albion's England be not 
preferred, for our business, is the MIRROUR OF MAGISTRATES, and in 
that MIRROUR, Sackvil's INDUCTION, the work of Thomas afterward 
earl of Dorset and lord treasurer of England : whose also the famous 
tragedy of GORBODUC, was the best of that time, even in sir Philip Sid- 
ney's judgement ; and all skillful Englishmen cannot but ascribe as much 
thereto, for his phrase and eloquence therein. But before in age, if not 
also in noble, courtly, and lustrous English, is that of the Songes and 
Sonnettes of Henry Howard earl of Surrey, (son of that victorious 
prince the duke of Norfolk, and father of that learned Howard his most 
lively image Henry earl of Northampton,) written chiefly by him, and 
by sir Thomas Wiat, not the dangerous commotioner, but his worthy 
father. Nevertheless, they who commend those poems and exercises 
of honourable wit, if they have seen that incomparable earl of Surrey 
his English translation of Virgil's Eneids, which, for a book or two, he 
admirably rendreth, almost line for line, will bear me witness that those 
other were foils and sportives. The English poems of sir Walter Ra- 
leigh, of John Donne, of Hugh Holland, but especially of sir Foulk 
Grevile in his matchless MUSTAPHA, are not easily to be mended. I 
dare not presume to speak of his Majesty's exercises in this heroick 
kind. Because I see them all left out in that which Montague lord 
bishop of Winchester hath given us of his royal writings. But if I 
should declare mine own rudeness rudely, I should then confess, that I 
never tasted English more to my liking, nor more smart, and put to the 
height of use in poetry, than in that vital, judicious, and most practi- 
cable language of Benjamin Jonson's poems d ." 

1(100: perhaps he misnamed the title for rical Worke." Lond. 1624. fol. This 
that of " Belvidere, or the Garden of the scarce book, which is the life of that em- 
Muses." The " Sheapheardes Logike," peror, and is adorned with plates of many 
a folio MS. cited in the British Bibliogra- curious and valuable medals, is dedicated 
phia, ii. 276, has dedicatory verses by Abr. to George duke of Buckingham, to whom 
Fraunce, to the " ryght worshypful Mr. Bolton seems to have been a retainer. 
Edwarde Dyer." PARK.] (See Hearne's Lei. Collectan. vol. vi. p. 
d Bolton's Hypercritica, "or a Rule of 60. edit. 1770.) In it he supports a spe- 
Judgement for writing or reading our cious theory, that Stonehenge was a mo- 
Historys." Addresse iv. Sect. iii. p. 235. nument erected by the Britons to Boa- 
seq. First printed by Anthony Hall, (at dicea, ch. xxv. At the end is his Historical 
the end of Trivet. Annal. Cont. and Ad. Parallel, showing the difference between 
Murimuth. Chron.) Oxford, 1722. octavo. epitomes and just histories, "heretofore 
The manuscript is among Cod. MSS. A. privately written to my good and noble 
Wood, Mus. Ashmol. 8471. 9. quarto, friend Endymion Porter, one of the gen- 
with a few notes by Wood. This judi- tlemen of the Prince's chamber." He in- 
cious little tract was occasioned by a pas- stances in the accounts given by Florus 
sage in sir Henry Saville's Epistle pre- and Polybius of the battle between Han- 
fixed to his edition of our old Latin histo- nibal and Scipio ; observing, that general- 
rians, 1596. Hypercrit. p. 217. Hearne ities are not so interesting as facts and 
has printed that part of it which contains circumstances, and that Florus gives us 
a Vindication of Jeffrey of Monmouth, "in proper words the flowers and tops of 
without knowing the author's name. Gul. noble matter, but Polybius sets the things 
Neubrig. Praefat. Append. Num. iii. p. themselves, in all their necessary parts, 
Ixxvii. vol. i. See Hypercrit. p. 204. Bol- before our eyes." He therefore concludes, 
ton's principal work now extant is " Nero " that all spacious mindes, attended with 
Caesar, or Monarchic depraved, an Histo- (he felicities of means and leisure, will fly 



Among several proofs of the popularity of this poem afforded by our 
old comedies, I will mention one in George Chapman's MAY-DAY, 
printed in 1611. A gentleman of the most elegant taste for reading, 
and highly accomplished in the current books of the times, is called 
" One that has read Marcus Aurelius 6 , Gesta Romanorum, and the 

The books of poetry which abounded in the reign of queen Elizabeth, 
and were more numerous than any other kinds of writing in our lan- 
guage, gave birth to two collections of FLOWERS selected from the 
works of the most fashionable poets. The first of these is, " ENGLAND'S 
PARNASSUS. Or, the choysest Flowers of our moderne Poets, with 
their poeticall Comparisons, Descriptions of Bewties, Personages, Cas- 
tles, Pallaces, Mountaines, Groues, Seas, Springs, Riuers, &c. Where- 
unto are annexed other various Discourses^ both pleasaunt and profit- 

abridgernents as bane." He published, 
however, an English version of Florus. 
He wrote the Life of the Emperor Tibe- 
rius, never printed. Ner. Caes. ut. supr. 
p. 82. He designed a General History 
of England. Hypercrit. p. 240. In the 
British Museum, there is the manuscript 
draught of a book entitled " Agon Heroi- 
cus, or concerning arms and armories, by 
Edmund Bonlton." MSS. Colt. Faustin. 
E. I. 7. fol. 63. and in the same library, 
his Prosopopeia Basilica, a Latin Poem 
upon the translation of the body of Mary 
queen of Scots in 1612, from Peterborough 
to Westminster Abbey. MSS. Cott. Tit. 
A. 13. 23. He compiled the Life of king 
Henry the Second for Speed's Chronicle : 
but Bolton being a catholic, and speaking 
too favourably of Becket, another Life was 
written by Dr. John Barcham, dean of 
Bocking. See The Surfeit to A. B. C. 
Lond. 12mo. 1656. p. 22. Written by 
Dr. Henry King, author of poems in 1657, 
son of King bishop of London. Compare 
Hypercrit. p. 220. Another work in the 
walk of philological antiquity, was his 
" VindicicB JBritannicte, or London right- 
ed," &c. Never printed, but prepared for 
the press by the author. Among other 
ingenious paradoxes, the principal aim of 
this treatise is to prove, that London was 
a great and flourishing city in the time of 
Nero ; and that consequently Julius Cae- 
sar's general description of all the British 
towns, in his Commentaries, is false and 
unjust. Hugh Howard, esquire, (see Gen. 
Diet. iii. 446.) had a fair manuscript of 
this book, very accurately written in a thin 
folio of forty-five pages. It is not known 
when or where he died. One Edmund 
Bolton, most probably the same, occurs as 
a CONVICTOK, that is, an independent 
member, of Trinity-college Oxford, under 
the year 1586. In Archiv. ibid. Wood 

MS. Notes, ut supr.) supposed the Hyper- 
critica to have been written about 1610. 
but our author himself (Hypercrit. p. 
237.) mentions king James's Works pub- 
lished by bishop Montague. That edition 
is dated 1616. 

A few particularities relating to this 
writer's Nero Caesar, and some other of 
his pieces, may be seen in Hearne's MSS. 
Coll. Vol. 50. p. 125. Vol. 132. p. 94. Vol. 
52. pp. 171. 186. 192. See also Original 
Letters from Anstis to Hearne. MSS. 
Bibl. Bodl. Rawlins. I add, that Ed- 
mund Bolton has a Latin copy of recom- 
mendatory verses, in company with 
George Chapman, Hugh Holland, Donne, 
Selden, Beaumont, Fletcher, and others, 
prefixed to the old folio edition of Ben- 
jamin Jonson's Works in 1616. 

[An original letter from E. Bolton to 
the earl of Northampton, dated llth of 
March 1611, occurs among the Cotton 
MSS. Titus B. v. and two pastoral poems 
in England's Helicon. PARK.] 

e " Lord Berners's Golden boke of 
Marcus Aurelius emperour and eloquent 
oratour." See page 52 of this volume. The 
first edition I have seen was by Berthe- 
lette, 1536. quarto. It was often reprinted. 
But see Mr. Steevens's Shakspeare, vol. i. 
p. 91. edit. 1778. Marcus Aurelius is 
among the Coppies of James Roberts, a 
considerable printer from 1573, down to 
below 1600. MSS. Coxeter. See Ames, 
Hist. Print, p. 341. 

f Act iii. fol. 39. 4to. See Dissertat. iii. 
prefixed to Vol. i. I take this opportunity 
of remarking, that Ames recites, printed 
for Richard Jones, " The Mirour of Ma- 
jestratesby G. Whetstone, 1584," quarto, 
Hist. Print, p. 347. T have never seen it, 
but believe it has nothing to do with this 

e Poetical extracts. 



able. Imprinted at London for N. L. C. B. and Th. Hayes. 1600 h ." 
The collector is probably Robert Allot 1 , whose initials R. A. appear 
subscribed to two Sonnets prefixed, one to sir Thomas Mounson, and 
the other to the Reader. The other compilation of this sort is entitled, 
" BELVIDERE, or the Garden of the Muses. London, imprinted for 
Hugh Astly, 1600V The compiler is one John Bodenham. In both 
of these, especially the former, the MIRROUR FOR MAGISTRATES is cited 
at large, and has a conspicuous share k . At the latter end of the reign 

h In duodecimo, cont. 510 pages. 

* A copy which I have seen has R. Al- 
lot, instead of R. A. There is a cotein- 
porary bookseller of that name. But in 
a little book of EPIGRAMS by John Wee- 
ver, printed in 1599 (12rno.), I find the 
following compliment. 

" Ad Robert um Allot et Christopherum 

Quicke are your wits, sharp e your con- 

Short, and more sweet, your lays ; 
Quick but no wit, sharp no conceit, 

Short and lesse sweet my Praise." 

[The following hexameters by Rob. 
Allott were prefixed to Chr. Middleton's 
Legend of Duke Humphrey, Lond. 1600. 

"Ad Christopherum Middletonum. 

Illustri Humphredi genio tua Musa pa- 

Vera refert, generosa canit, memoranda 

Virtuti, et laudi statuam dans, dat simul 

Non opus est vestrse Musae, turn carmine 

Nee opis est nostrse, radiis involvere 

Quid satis ornatam Musam phalerare ju- 


Two copies of English verses follow, by 
Mich. Drayton and John Weever. These 
may be seen in the Harleian Miscellany, 
vol. x. pp. 165, 166. PARK.] 

J " Or, sentences gathered out of all 
kinds of poets, referred to certaine me- 
thodical heads, profitable for the use of 
these times to rhyme upon any occasion 
at a little warning." Octavo. But the 
compiler does not cite the names of the 
poets with the extracts. This work is ri- 
diculed in an anonymous old play, " The 
Return from Parnassus, or the Scourge of 
Simony, publickly acted by the students 
in Saint John's College, Cambridge, 
1606." quarto. Judicio says, " Consider- 
ing the furies of the times, I could better 
see these young can-quaffing hucksters 

shoot off their pelletts, so they could keep 
them from these English Flares Poetannn ; 
but now the world is come to that pass, 
that there starts up every day an old goose 
that sits hatching up these eggs which 
have been filched from the nest of crowes 
and kestrells," &c. Act i. sc. 2. Then 
follows a criticism on Spenser, Constable, 
Lodge, Daniel, Watson, Drayton, Davis, 
Marston, Marlowe, Churchyard, Nashe, 
Locke, and Hudson. Churchyard is com- 
mended for his Legend of Shore's Wife 
in the Mirrour for Magistrates. 

Hath not Shores Wife, although a light- 
skirts she, 
Given him a long and lasting memory ? 

By the way, in the Register of the Sta- 
tioners, June 19, 1594, The lamentable end 
of Shore's Wife is mentioned as a part of 
Shakspeare's Richard the Third. And 
in a pamphlet called Pymlico, or Run 
away Redcap, printed in 1596, the well- 
frequented play of Shore is mentioned 
with Pericles Prince of Tyre. From 
Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of the 
Burning Pestle, written 1613, Jane Shore 
appears to have been a celebrated tragedy; 
and in the Stationers' Register (Oxen- 
bridge and Busby, Aug. 28, 1599.) occurs 
" The History of the Life and Death of 
Master Shore and Jane Shore his wife, as 
it was lately acted by the earl Derbie his 

k Allot's is much the most complete 
performance of the two. The method is 
by far more judicious, the extracts more 
copious, and made with a degree of taste. 
With the extracts he respectively cites 
the names of the poets, which are as fol- 
lows. Thomas Achelly. Thomas Bastard. 
George Chapman. Thomas Churchyard. 
Henry Constable. Samuel Daniel. John 
Davies. Michael Drayton. Thomas Dek- 
kar. Edward Fairfax. Charles Fitz-jefFrey. 
Abraham Fraunce. George Gascoigne. 
Edward GSlpin. Robert Greene. Fulke 
Greville. Sir John Harrington. John Hig- 
gins. Thomas Hudson. James King of 
Scots, [i. e. James the First] Benjamin 
Jonson. Thomas Kyd. Thomas Lodge. 
M. M. [i. e. Mirrour for Magistrates.] 




of queen Elizabeth, as I am informed from some curious manuscript 
authorities, a thin quarto in the black letter was published, with this 
title, " The MIRROUR OF MIRROVRS, or all the tragedys of the Mirrovr 
for Magistrates abbreuiated in breefe histories in prose. Very neces- 
sary for those that haue not the Cronicle. London, imprinted for James 
Roberts in Barbican, 1598 1 ." This was an attempt to familiarise and 
illustrate this favourite series of historic soliloquies ; or a plan to present 
its subjects, which were now become universally popular in rhyme, in 
the dress of prose. 

It is reasonable to suppose, that the publication of the MIRROUR FOR 
MAGISTRATES enriched the stores, and extended the limits, of our dra- 
ma. These lives are so many tragical speeches in character. We have 
seen, that they suggested scenes to Shakspeare. Some critics imagine, 
that HISTORICAL Plays owed their origin to this collection. At least 
it is certain that the writers of this MIRROUR were the first who made 
a poetical use of the English chronicles recently compiled by Fabyan, 
Hall, and Hollinshed, which opened a new field of subjects and events ; 

Christopher Marlowe. Jarvis Markham. 
John Marston. Christopher Middleton. 
Thomas Nashe. [Vere.] Earl of Oxford. 
George Peele. Matthew Raydon. Master 
Sackvile. William Shakspeare. Sir Phi- 
lip Sidney. Edmund Spenser. Thomas 
Storer. [H. Howard] Earl of Surrey. 
Joshua Sylvester. George Turberville. 
William Warner. Thomas Watson. John 
and William Weever. Sir Thomas Wyat. 
I suspect that Wood, by mistake, has at- 
tributed this collection by Allot, to Charles 
Fitz-jeffrey above mentioned, a poet before 
and after 1600, and author of the Affania. 
But I will quote Wood's words : " Fitz- 
jeffrey hath also made, as tis said, A Col- 
lection of choice Flowers and Descriptions, 
as well out of his, as the works of several 
others the most renowned poets of our 
nation, collected about the beginning of 
the reign of King James I. But this tho 
I have been years seeking after, yet I can- 
not get a sight of it." Ath. Oxon. i. 606. 
But the most comprehensive and exact 
Common-place of the works of our most 
eminent poets throughout the reign of 
queen Elizabeth, and afterwards, was pub- 
lished about forty years ago, by Mr. Tho- 
mas Hay ward of Hu.igerford in Berkshire, 
viz. " The British Muse, A Collection of 
Thoughts, Moral, Natural, and Sublime, 
of our English Poets, who flourished in 
ihe sixteenth and seventeenth Centuries. 
With several curious Topicks, and beau- 
tiful Passages, never before extracted, from 
Shakspeare, Jonson, Beaumont, Fletcher, 
and above a Hundred more. The whole 
digested alphabetically, &c. In three vo- 
lumes. London, Printed for F. Cogan, c. 
1738." 12mo. The Preface, of twenty 

pages, was written by Mr. William Oldys, 
with the supervisal and corrections of his 
friend doctor Campbell. This anecdote I 
learn from a manuscript insertion by Oldys 
in my copy of Allot's England's Parnassus, 
above mentioned, which once belonged to 

[Hay ward's British Muse was in 1740 
entitled " The Quintessence of English 
Poetry," and the name of Mr. Oldys was 
added as author of the Preface. Other 
collections of a similar kind had been pre- 
viously published by Poole, Bysshe and 
Gildon. Edward Phillips had previously 
attributed England's Parnassus to Fitz- 
geoffry, and seems to have been followed 
implicitly by Wood. See Theatr. Poetr. 
1675. p. 219. PARK.] 

1 From manuscripts of Mr. Coxeter, of 
Trinity-college Oxford, lately in the hands 
of Mr. Wise, Radclivian Libi'arian at Ox- 
ford, containing extracts from the copy- 
rights of our old printers, and registers of 
the Stationers, with several other curious 
notices of that kind. Ames had many of 
Coxeter's papers. He died in London 
April 19, 1747 [of a fever, which grew 
from a cold he caught at an auction of 
books over Exeter Change, or by sitting 
up late at the tavern afterwards. See 
Oldys's MS. notes on Langbaine in the 
British Museum, p. 353. Coxeter was the 
original editor of Dodsley's old Plays, and 
an early writer in the Biographia Britan- 
nica. Ames makes an acknowledgement 
to him for many hints in his Typogra- 
phical Antiquities. A daughter of his, ad- 
vanced in years, received pecuniary assist- 
ance from the Literary Fund in 1791, 
1793 and 1797. PARK.] 




and, I may add, produced a great revolution in the state of popular 
knowledge. For before those elaborate and voluminous compilations 
appeared, the History of England, which had been shut up in the Latin 
narratives of the monkish annalists, was unfamiliar and almost unknown 
to the general reader*. 

* [Among the historical poems which 
seem to have been written in imitation of 
those entitled " The Mirrour for Magi- 
strates," perhaps with an intention of being 
engrafted on the popular stock of Baldwin 
and Higgins, must be noticed the " Le- 
gend of Mary Q,ueen of Scots," first pub- 
lished from an original MS. by Mr. Fry 
of Kingsdown near Bristol in 1810, and 
attributed by its editor to the pen of Tho- 
mas Wen man in 1601 ; a writer, of whom 
nothing material has since been added to 
the short account of Wood, which describes 
him as an excellent scholar 1 , who took his 
degree of M.A. in 1590, was afterwards 
Fellow of Baliol College, and public orator 
of the University of Oxford in 1594. The 
editor claims for this historic legend a 
higher rank than what Mr. Warton has 
assigned to the generality of the rhyming 
chronicles contained in the Mirror for Ma- 
gistrates : but I rather doubt whether our 
poetical historian would have ratified the 
claim ; since it appears to run singularly 
parallel in its construction, in its rhythmical 
cadence and versification, to the greater 
portion of the pieces in that onoe popular 

Pr. Baldwyn awake, thie penn hath slept 

to longe ; 
Ferris is dead ; state cares staie Sack- 

vilfs ease ; 
Theise latter witts delighte in pleasaunt 

Or lovinge sayes, which maie theire 

masters please ; 
My ruthfull state breeds no remorse 

in theise : 

For as my liffe was still opreste by fate, 
So after deathe my name semes out of 


The poem extends to 186 stanzas. The 
following list is given by Mr. Fry, as imi- 
tations of the Mirror for Magistrates. 

1. The Testament and Tragedie of 
King Henrie Stewart, 1567. Edinb. (See 
Dalzel's Scottish Poems of the 16th cent.) 

2. Rd. Robinson's Rewarde of Wick- 
ednesse, &c. 1574. (See Cens. Literar. ) 

3. Ant y Monday's Mirror of Mutability, 
&c. 1579. (See Cens. Lit.) 

4. Ulpian Fulvell's Flower of Fame, 
&c. 1575. (See Cens. Lit.) 

. r >. Wm. Wyrley's Life and Death of 
sir Jno. Chaudos. 1592. 

6. Wm. Wyrley's Life and Death of 
sir Jno. de Grathy. 1572. (See Cens. Lit. 
i. 148.) 

7. Rd. Johnson's Nine Worthies of 
London, &o. 1592. (See Harl. Misc.) 

8. Tho. Churchyard's Tragedie of the 
Earl of Morton and sir Simon Burley, (in 
his Challenge,) 1593. Storer's Life and 
Death of Cardinal Wolsey. 1599. 

9. Ch. Middleton's Legend of Duke 
Humphrey, 1600. (See Cens. Lit. iii. 

10. Tho. Sampson's Fortune's Fashion, 
pourtrayed in the troubles of the Ladie 
Elisabeth Gray. 1613. 

11. Mich. Dray ton's Legend of Rob. 
D. of Normandy. 1596. 

12. Mich. Dray ton's Legend of Ma- 

13. Mich. Dray ton's Legend of Percie 

14. Mich. Drayton's Legend of Great 

In the Poetical Works 2 of William 
Browne, 1772, there is a reprint of Verses 
by him prefixed to " Richard the Third, 
his character, legend and tragedy," a poem 
in quarto with the date of 1614. This 
poem I do not recollect to have seen, but 
its title makes it presumable to have been 
of Baldwin's class. Daniel's Complaint 
of Rosamond first printed in 1592, may be 
numbered in the same class ; and so may 
Niccols's Vision of Sir Thomas Overbury, 
&c. published in 1616. 

Another of these imitative histories in 
verse, which from its extreme rarity was 
not likely to fall under the observation of 
Mr. Fry, is entitled " Beawtie dishonour- 
ed, written under the title of Shore's 
Wife," printed at London by John Wolfe 
in 1593, 4to. It contains 197 six-line 
stanzas, and is inscribed to sir Edward 
Winckfield knight, by his " worship's 
most bounden, A. C." that is, A. Chute or 
Chewt, who speaks of it as an infant la- 
bour, and the "first invention of his begin- 
ning Muse." As the poem "is upon the 
whole inferior to that of Churchyard on 
the same subject, which had been pub- 
lished a few years before, it seems rather 
strange that Chute should have tried his 
juvenile strength against that of the vete- 
ran bard, who published his " Tragedie" 
in the same year, with 21 additional stan- 
zas, " in as fine a forme as the first impres- 

1 Fasti Oxon. i. 139. 

2 vol. iii. p. 162. 


sion thereof," and with a soldier-like pro- 
testation, that the production was entirely 
his own, though some malignant it seems 
had denied him the credit of producing it. 
Chute did not in his rival effort adopt the 
seven-line stanza of Churchyard, but many 
passages bear such partial resemblance, as 
a choice of the same personal history was 
likely to induce. A late reprint of the 
Mirror for Magistrates will give to many 
an opportunity of perusing Churchyard's 
work ; but as that of Chute remains in an 
unique copy, I proceed to extract a few of 
the best stanzas. The ghost of Shore's 
Wife is made to narrate her own story, on 
the plan of Baldwin's heroes and heroines. 
The following lines express her compunc- 
tion for having yielded to the criminal 
passion of Edward IV. 

Who sees the chast liv'd turtle on a tree 
In unfrequented groves sit and com- 

plaine her; 

Whether alone all desolate, poore shee, 
And for her lost love seemeth to re- 

straine her ; 
And there, sad thoughted, howleth to the 

The excellencie of her lost-mate's fayre 1 : 

So I, when sinne had drown'd my soule 

in badnesse, 
To solitarie muse my selfe retired, 

Where wrought by greefe to discontented 


Repentant thoughts my new won shame 
admired ; 

And I, the monster of myne owne misfor- 

My hart with grones and sorrow did im- 

She proceeds to lament that posterity 
will consign her memory to defamation. 
Thus in thy life, thus in thy death, and 

Dishonor'd by thy fact, what mayst 

thou doe ? 
Though now thy soule the touch of sinne 

doth loath, 

And thou abhorst thy life, and thy 
selfe too : 

Yet cannot this redeeme thy spotted name, 
Nor interdict thy body of her shame. 

But he that could command thee, made 

thee sin : 
Yet that is no priviledge, no sheeld to 

Now thou thyselfe hast drownd thyselfe 


Thou art defam'd thyselfe, and so is hee : 
And though that kings commands have 

wonders wrought, 
Yet kings commands could never hinder 


Saythatamonarkemay dispencewith sin; 
The vulgar toungproveth impartial! still, 
And when mislike all froward shall begin, 
The worst of bad, and best of worst to ill, 
A secret shame in every thought will smo- 

For sinne is sinne in kinges, as well as 
* * * * # 

could my wordes expresse in mourning 

The ready passion that my mynde doth 

Then greefe all cares, all sences would 

And some would weepe with me, as well 

as I; 

Where now, because my wordes cannot re- 
veale it, 

1 weepe alone, inforced to conceale it. 

Had I bin fayre, and not allur'd so soone, 
To that at which all thoughtes level! 

their sadnesse, 

My sunbright day had not bin set ere noone, 
Nor I bin noted for detected badnesse : 
But this is still peculiar to our state, 
To sinne too soone and then repent too 

The moral reflections of Chute will be 
found more meritorious than his poetic gar- 
niture, and this is a distinction of personal 
honour to the author ; since, as Cowper 
cogently asks, " What is the poet, if the 
man be naught?" PARK.] 




Richard Edwards. Principal poet, player, musician, and buffoon, to 
the courts of Mary and Elizabeth. Anecdotes of his life. Cotempo- 
rary testimonies of his merit. A contributor to the Paradise of Daintie 
Devises. His book of comic histories, supposed to have suggested 
Shakspeares Induction of the Tinker. Occasional anecdotes of An- 
tony Munday and Henry Chettle. Edwards s songs. 

IN tracing the gradual accessions of the MIRROUR FOR MAGISTRATES, 
an incidental departure from the general line of our chronologic series 
has been incurred. But such an anticipation was unavoidable, in order 
to exhibit a full and uninterrupted view of that poem, which originated 
in the reign of Mary, and was not finally completed till the beginning 
of the seventeenth century. I now therefore return to the reign of queen 

To this reign I assign Richard Edwards, a native of Somersetshire, 
about the year 1523. He is said by Wood to have been a scholar of 
Corpus Christi college in Oxford ; but in his early years he was em- 
ployed in some department about the court. This circumstance appears 
from one of his poems in the PARADISE OF DAINTIE DEVISES, a mis- 
cellany which contains many of his pieces. 

In youthfull yeares when first my young desires began 

To pricke me forth to serve in court, a slender tall young man, 

My fathers blessing then I ask'd upon my knee, 

Who blessing me with trembling hand, these wordes gan say to me, 

My sonne, God guide thy way, and shield thee from mischaunce, 

And make thy just desartes in court, thy poore estate to advance, &c. a 

In the year 1547, he was appointed a senior student of Christ-church 
in Oxford, then newly founded. In the British Museum there is a small 
set of manuscript sonnets signed with his initials, addressed to some of 
the beauties of the courts of queen Mary, and of queen Elizabeth b . 
-Hence we may conjecture that he did not long remain at the univer- 
sity. About this time he was probably a member of Lincoln's-inn. In 
the year 1561, he was constituted a gentleman of the royal chapel by 
queen Elizabeth, and master of the singing boys there. He had re- 
ceived his musical education, while at Oxford, under George Etheridge c . 

a Edit. 1585. 4to. Carm. 7. Pig. and six are unsignatured. That quoted 

b MSS. Cotton. Tit. A. xxiv. " To by Mr. Warton may be seen at length in 

some court Ladies." Pr. " Howarde is Nug. Antiq.ii. 392. Another by Edwards is 

not hawghte," &c. printed in Mr. Ellis's Specimens, vol. ii. and 

[This MS. appears to be the fragment Norton's is also there inserted. PARK.] 

of a collection of original poetry, by differ- c George Etheridge, born at Thame in 

ent writers. In Ayscough's Catalogue, it Oxfordshire, was admitted scholar of Cor- 

is described as " Sonnets by R. E." but no pus Christi college Oxford, under the tu- 

sonnet occurs among the several pieces, ition of the learned John Shepreve, in 1534. 

and only four out of fourteen are signed Fellow, in 1539. In 1553, he was made 

II. E. The rest bear the signatures of royal professor of Greek at Oxford. In 

Norton (the dramatic associate probably of 1556, he was recommended by lord Wil- 

Lord Buckhwst), Surre (i.e. Surrey), Va. Hams of Thame, to sirThomas Pope founder 


When queen Elizabeth visited Oxford in 1566, she was attended by 
Edwards, who was on this occasion employed to compose a play called 
PALAMON AND ARCITE, which was acted before her majesty in Christ- 
church hall d . I believe it was never printed. Another of his plays is 
DAMON AND PYTHIAS, which was acted at court. It is a mistake, that 
the first edition of this play is the same that is among Mr. Garrick's 
collection printed by Richard Johnes, and dated 1571 e . The first edi- 
tion* was printed by William Howe in Fleet-street, in 1570, with this 
title, " The tragical comedie of DAMON AND PITHIAS, newly imprinted 
as the same was playde before the queenes maiestie by the children of 
her graces chappie. Made by Mayster Edward then being master of 
the children f ." There is some degree of low humour in the dialogues 
between Grimme the collier and the two lacquies, which I presume was 
highly pleasing to the queen. He probably wrote many other dramatic 
pieces now lost. Puttenham having mentioned lord Buckhurst and 
Master Edward Ferrys, or Ferrers, as most eminent in tragedy, gives 
the prize to Edwards for Comedy and Interlude*. The word Interlude 
is here of wide extent. For Edwards, besides that he was a writer of 
regular dramas, appears to have been a contriver of masques, and a 
composer of poetry for pageants. In a word, he united all those arts 
and accomplishments which minister to popular pleasantry : he was the 
first fiddle, the most fashionable sonnetteer, the readiest rhymer, and 
the most facetious mimic, of the court. In consequence of his love and 
his knowledge of the histrionic art, he taught the choristers over which 
he presided to act plays ; and they were formed into a company of 
players, like those of St. Paul's cathedral, by the queen's licence, under 
the superintendency of Edwards 11 . 

of Trinity college in Oxford, to be admitted 1619. Pits adds, that he translated seve- 

a fellowof his college at its first foundation ; ral of David's Psalms into a short Hebrew 

but Etheridge choosing to pursue the me- metre for music. [The harpers used a 

dical line, that scheme did not take effect. short verse, and Etheridge, it seems, was a 

He was persecuted for popery by queen harper ; but why was this called a trans- 

Elizabeth at her accession; but afterwards lationl ASHBY.] Wood mentions his 

practised physic at Oxford with much re- musical compositions in manuscript. His 

putation, and established a private semi- familiar friend Leland addresses him in an 

nary there for the instruction of catholic encomiastic epigram, and asserts that his 

youths in the classics, music, and logic. many excellent writings were highly plea- 

Notwithstanding his active perseverance sing to king Henry the Eighth. Encom. 

in the papistic persuasion, he presented to - Lond. 1589. p. 111. His chief patrons 

the queen, when she visited Oxford in 1566, seem to have been, lord Williams, sir 

an Encomium in Greek verse on her father Thomas Pope, sir Walter Mildmay, and 

Henry, now in the British Museum, MSS. Robertson dean of Durham. He died in 

Bibl. Reg. 16 C. x. He prefixed a not in- 1588, at Oxford. I have given Etheridge 

elegant preface in Latin verse to his tutor so long a note, because he appears from 

Shepreve's Hyppolytus, an Answer to Pits to have been an English poet. Com- 

Ovid's Phaedra, which he published in pare Fox, Martyrolog. iii. 500. 

1584. Pits his cotemporary says, "He d See supr. vol. ii. p. 526. 

was an able mathematician, and one of e Quarto, bl. lett. 

the most excellent vocal and instrumental * [Vid. infra, p. 241. note x .] 

musicians in England, but he chiefly de- f Quarto, bl. lett. The third edition is 

lighted in the lute and lyre. A most ele- among Mr. Garrick's Plays, 4to. bl. lett. 

gant poet, and a most exact composer of dated 1582. 

English, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew verses, g Arte of English Poetry, fol. 51. 

which he used to set to his harp with the h See supr, vol. ii. p. 534. 
greatest skill." Angl. Script, p. 784. Paris. 


The most poetical of Edwards's ditties in the PARADISE OF DAINTIE 
DEVISES is a description of May 1 : the rest are moral sentences in 
stanzas. His SOUL-KNELL, supposed to have been written on his death- 
bed, was once celebrated k . His popularity seems to have altogether 
arisen from those pleasing talents of which no specimens could be trans- 
mitted to posterity, and which prejudiced his partial cotemporaries in 
favour of his poetry. He died in the year 1566 1 . 

In the Epitaphs, Songs, and Sonets of George Turbervile, printed in 
[1567 and] 1570, there are two elegies on his death ; which record the 
places of his education, ascertain his poetical and musical character^ 
and bear ample testimony to the high distinction in which his perform- 
ances, more particularly of the dramatic kind, were held. The second 
is by Turbervile himself, entitled, " An Epitaph on Maister Edwards, 
sometime Maister of the Children of the Chappell and gentleman of 
Lyncolnes inne of court/' 

Ye learned Muses nine, 

And sacred sisters all ; 
Now lay your cheerful cithrons downe* 

And to lamenting fall 

For he that led the daunce, 

The chiefest of your traine, 
I mean the man that Edwards height, 

By cruell death is slaine. 
Ye courtiers, chaunge your cheere, 

Lament in wastefull wise ; 
For now your Orpheus has resignde, 

In clay his carcas lies. 
O ruth ! he is bereft, 

That, whilst he lived here, 
For poets penne and passinge wit 
Could have no English peere. 
His vaine in verse was such, 
So stately eke his stile, 
His feate in forging sugred songes 
With cleane and curious file 1 " ; 

' Carm. 6. edit. 1585. It seems to have his Epistle to the young Gentlemen, before 

been a favourite, and is complimented in his works, 1587. qu. 

another piece, A reply to M. Edwardes [But it is only mentioned in derision, 

May, subscribed M. S. ibid. Carm. 29. as a vulgar and groundless notion, to which 

This miscellany, of which more will be those who gave credence are ridiculed for 

said hereafter, is said in the title to " be their absurdity. PARK.] 

devised and written for the most parte by 1 Wood, Ath. Oxon. i. 151. See also, 

M. Edwardes sometime of her maiesties ibid. Fast. 71. 

Chappell." Edwards however had been m Shakspeare has inserted a part of 

dead twelve years when the first edition Edwards's song In Commendation of Mu- 

appeared, viz. in 1578. sicke, extant at length in the Paradise of 

[It will be seen from Mr. Haselwood's Daintie Denises, (fol. 34 b.) in Romeo and 

careful reprint of Edwards's Metrical Mis- Juliet: " When griping grief," &c. act iv. 

cellany, that the first edition appeared in sc. 5. In some Miscellany of the reign of 

1")76, and a second in 1577. PARK.] Elizabeth, I have seen a song called The 

k It is mentioned by G. Gascoigne in Willow-Garland, attributed to Edwards : 


As all the learned Greekes, 

And Romaines would repine, 
If they did live againe, to vewe 

His verse with scornefull eine". 
From Plautus he the palm 

And learned Terence wan, &c. 

The other is written by Thomas Twyne, an assistant in Phaer's Trans- 
lation of Virgil's Eneid into English verse, educated a few years after 
Edwards at Corpus Christi college, and an actor in Edwards's play of 
PALAMON AND ARCITE before queen Elizabeth at Oxford in 1566 p . 
It is entitled, " An Epitaph vpon the death of the worshipfull Mayster 
Richarde Edwardes late Mayster of the Children in the queenes maies- 
ties chapell." 

O happie house, O place 

Of Corpus Christi^, thou 
That plantedst first, and gaust the root 

To that so braue a bow r : 
And Christ-church 8 , which enioydste 

The fruit more ripe at fill, 
Plunge up a thousand sighes, for griefe 

Your trickling teares distill. 
Whilst Childe and Chapell dure 1 , 

Whilst court a court shall be; 

and the same, I think, that is licensed to p Miles Winsore of the same college 

T. Colwell in 1564, beginning, " / am not was another actor in that play, and I sup- 

the fyrst that hath taken in hande, The pose his performance was much liked by 

wearynge of the willowe garlande." This the queen: for when her majesty left 

song, often reprinted, seems to have been Oxford, after this visit, he was appointed 

written in consequence of that sung by by the university to speak an oration be- 

Desdeinona in Othello, with the burden, fore her at lord Windsor's at Bradenham 

Sing, the green willowe shall be my gar- in Bucks ; and when he had done speak- 

land. Othell. act iv. sc. 3. See Register ing, the queen turning to Gama de Sylva, 

of the Stationers, A. fol. 119 b. Hence the the Spanish ambassador, and looking ivistly 

antiquity of Desdemona's song may in on Windsore, said to the ambassador, Is 

some degree be ascertained. I take this not this a pretty young manl Wood, Ath. 

opportunity of observing, that the ballad Oxon. i. 151. 489. Winsore proved after- 

of Susannah, part of which is sung by Sir wards a diligent antiquary. 

Toby in Twelfth Night, was licensed to q Corpus Christi college at Oxford. 

,T. Colwell, in 1562, with the title, " The r bough, branch. s At Oxford, 

godlye and constant wyfe Susanna." Ibid. * While the royal chapel and its sing- 

fol. 89 b. There is a play on this subject, ing-boys remain. 

ibid. fol. 176 a. See Tw. N. act ii. sc. 3. In a puritanical pamphlet without name, 

and Collect. Pepysian. torn. i. p. 33. 496. printed in 1569, and entitled, " The Chil- 

n eyes. dren of the Chapel stript and whipt," among 

Fol. 142 b. [The following is one of bishop Tanner's books at Oxford, it is said, 

Turberville's epigrammatic witticisms : " Plaies will neuer be supprest, while her 

Of one that had a great Nose. maiesties unfledged minions flaunt it in 

silkes and sattens. They had as well be 

Stande with thy nose against ^ ^ .^ gervi ,J Ae deuilg 

The sunne, with open chaps, c f fol . xii . a . 12mo . This is per- 

wJV? y '"I v We i CCTne ha P s the earliest notice now to be fou " d 

What tis a clock, perhaps. in ^ of ^ young company of come . 

Turb. Poems 1- r >70, p. 83 b. dians, at least the earliest proof of their 
PARK.] celebrity. From the same pamphlet we 




Good Edwards, eche astat u shall much 
Both want and wish for thee I 

Thy tender tunes and rhymes 

Wherein thou wontst to play, 

Eche princely dame of court and towne 
Shall beare in minde away. 

Thy DAMON w and his Friend x , 

learn, that it gave still greater offence to 
the puritans, that they were suffered to 
act plays on profane subjects in the royal 
chapel itself. " Even in her maiesties 
chappel do these pretty vpstart youthes 
profane the Lordes Day by the lascivious 
writhing of their tender limbs, and gor- 
geous decking of their apparell, in feign- 
ing bawdie fables gathered from the idola- 
trous heathen poets," &c. ibid. fol. xiii. b. 
But this practice soon ceased in the royal 
chapels. Yet in one of Stephen Gosson's 
books against the stage, written in 1579, 
is this passage: "In playes, either those 
thinges are fained that neuer were, as CU- 
PID AND PSYCHE plaid at PAULES, and a 
great many comedies more at the Black- 
friars, and in euerie playhouse in Lon- 
don," &c. Signat. D. 4. Undoubtedly the 
actors of this play of Cupid and Psyche 
were the choristers of saint Paul's cathe- 
dral : but it may be doubted, whether by 
Paules we are here to understand the Ca- 
thedral or its Singing school, the last of 
which was the usual theatre of those cho- 
risters. See Gosson's "PLAYES CONFUTED 
IN FIVE ACTIONS, &c. prouing that they 
are not to be suffred in a Christian common 
tveale, by the waye both the cauils of Tho- 
mas Lodge, and the Play of Playes, writ- 
ten in their defence, and other objections of 
Players frendes, are truely set downe and 
directly aunsweard." Lond. Impr. for T. 
Gosson, no date. bl. lett. 12mo. We are 
sure that religious plays were presented, in 
our churches long after the reformation. 
Not to repeat or multiply instances, see 
Second and Third Blast of Retrait from 
Plaies, printed 1580, pag. 77. 12mo.; and 
Gosson's Schoole of Abuse, p. 24 b. edit. 
1579. As to the exhibition of plays on 
Sundays after the reformation, we are told 
by John Field, in his Declaration of God's 
Judgement at Paris Garden, that in the 
year 1580, "The Magistrates of the citty 
of London obteined from queene Eliza- 
beth, that all heathenish playes and en- 
terludes should be banished upon sabbath 
dayes." fol. ix. Lond. 1583. 8vo. It ap- 
pears from this pamphlet, that a prodi- 
gious concourse of people were assembled 
at Paris Garden, to see plays and a bear- 
baiting, on Sunday Jan. 13, 1583, when 
the whole theatre fell to the ground, by 

which accident many of the spectators 
were killed. [As this accident happened 
three years after the above order was is- 
sued, Dr. Ashby supposes that the order 
extended only to the city, and that Paris 
Garden was out of that jurisdiction. 
PARK.] (See also Henry Cave's [Carre's] 
Narration of the Fall of Paris Garden, 
Lond. 1588; and D. Beard's Theater of 
Gods Judgements, edit 3. Lond. 1631. lib. 

1. c. 35. p. 212 ; also Refutation of Key- 
wood's Apologie for Actors, p. 43, by J. G. 
Lond. 1615. 4to.; and Stubbs's Anatomie 
of Abuses, p. 134, 135. edit. Lond. 1595.) 
And we learn from Richard Reulidges's 
Monster lately found out and discovered, 
or the Scourging of Tiplers, a circumstance 
not generally known in our dramatic hi- 
story, and perhaps occasioned by these pro- 
fanations of the sabbath, that " Many godly 
citizens and wel-disposed gentlemen of 
London, considering that play-houses and 
dicing-houses were traps for yong gentle- 
men and others, made humble suite to 
queene Elizabeth and her Privy-councell, 
and obtained leave from her Majesty, to 
thrust the Players out of the citty ; and to 
pull downe all Play-houses and Dicing- 
houses within their liberties: which ac- 
cordingly was effected, and the Play-houses 
in Gracious [Gracechurch] street, Bishops 
gate street, that nigh Paules, that on Lud- 
gate-hill, and the White-friers, were quite 
put downe and suppressed, by the care of 
these religious senators." Lond. 1628. pp. 

2, 3, 4. Compare G. Whetstone's Mirrour 
for Magistrates of Citties. Lond. 1586. 
fol. 24. But notwithstanding these pre- 
cise measures of the city magistrates and 
the privy-council, the queen appears to 
have been a constant attendant at plays, 
especially those presented by the children 
of her chapel. [So, also, she retained some 
relics of popery, as tapers on the altar, &c. 
which greatly offended the puritans. 

u estate, rank of life. 

w Hamlet calls Horatio, Damon dear, 
in allusion to the friendship of Damon and 
Pythias, celebrated in Edwards's play. 
Hamlet, act iii. sc. 2. 

x Pythias. I have said above that the 
first edition of Edwards's Damon and Py- 
thias was printed by William Howe in 




With moe? full fit for princes eares, &c. z 

Francis Meres, in his "PALLADIS TAMIA, Wits Treasurie, being the 
second part of WITS COMMONWEALTH," published in 1598, recites 
Maister EDWARDES of her maiesties chapel as one of the best for comedy, 
together with "Edward earle of Oxforde, doctor Gager of Oxford a , 
maister Rowly once a rare scholler of Pembrooke Hall in Cambridge, 
eloquent and wittie John Lillie, Lodge, Gascoygne, Greene, Shak- 
speare, Thomas Nash, Thomas Hey wood, Anthony Mundye b , our 

Fleet-street, in the year 1570, " The tra- 
gicall comedie," &c. See supr. p. 238. But 
perhaps it may be necessary to retract this 
assertion ; for in the Register of the Sta- 
tioners, under the year 1565, a receipt is 
entered for the licence of Alexander Lacy 
to print " A ballat entituled tow [two] 
lamentable Songes Pithias and Damon." 
Registr. A. fol. 136 b. And again, there is 
the receipt for licence of Richard James in 
1566, to print "A boke entituled the tra- 
gicall comedye of Damonde and Pithyas." 
Ibid. fol. 161 b. In the same Register I 
find, under the year 1569-70, "An Enter- 
lude, a lamentable Tragedy full of pleasant 
myrth," licenced to John Aide. Ibid. fol. 
184 b. This I take to be the first edition 
of Preston's Cambyses, so frequently ridi- 
culed by his cotemporaries. 
y more. 

56 Ibid. fol. 78 b. And not to multiply 
in the text citations in proof of Edwards's 
popularity from forgotten or obscure poets, 
I observe at the bottom of the page, that 
T. B. in a recommendatory poem prefixed 
to John Studley's English version of Sene- 
ca's Agamemnon, printed in 1566, ranks 
our author Edwards with Phaer the trans- 
lator of Virgil, Jasper Haywood the trans- 
lator of Seneca's Troas and Hercules Fu- 
rens, Nevile the translator of Seneca's 
CEdipus, Googe, and Golding the trans- 
lator of Ovid, more particularly with the 

With him also, as seemeth me, 
Our Edwards may compare ; 
Who nothyng gyuing place to him 

Doth syt in egall chayre. 
[Churchyard's panegyric on the English 
poets contains a similar species of com- 

Phaer did hit the pricke 

In thinges he did translate ; 
And Edwards had a special gift ; 
And divers men of late 
Have helpt our Englishe toung. 


a A famous writer of Latin plays at Ox- 
ford. See supr. vol. ii. p. 527. note c . 

b I have never seen any of Antony Mun- 
day's plays. It appears from Kemp's Nine 
Daies Wonder, printed in 1600, that he was 
famous for writing ballads. In The re- 
quest to the impudent generation of Ballad- 
makers, Kemp calls Munday "one whose 
employment of the pageant was utterly 
spent, he being knowne to be Elderton's 
immediate heire," &c. Signat. D. 2. See 
the next note. He seems to have been 
much employed by the booksellers as -A 
publisher and compiler both in verse and 
prose. He was bred at Rome in the En- 
glish college, and was thence usually called 
the Pope's scholar. See his pamphlet The 
Englishman's Roman Life, or how English- 
men live at Rome. Lond. 1582. 4to. But 
he afterwards turned protestant. He pub- 
lished " The Discoverie of Edmund Cam- 
pion the Jesuit," in 1582. 12mo. Lond. 
for E. White. He published also, arid 
dedicated to the earl of Leicester, Two 
godly and learned Sermons made by that 
famous and worthy instrument in God's 
church M. John Calvin, translated into 
English by Home bishop of Winchester, 
during his exile. "Published by A. M." 
ForHenryCar, Lond. 1584. 12mo. Mun- 
day frequently used his initials only. Also, 
a Brief CHRONICLE from the creation to 
this time, Lond. 1611. 8vo. This seems 
to be cited by Hutten,^Antiqu5t. Oxf. p. 
281. edit. Hearne. See Registr. Station. 
B. fol. 143 b. 

He was a city-poet, and a composer and 
contriver of the city pageants. These are, 
Chryso-triumphos, &c. devised and writ- 
ten by A. Munday, 1611. Triumphs of 
old Drapery, &c. by A. M. 1616. Metro- 
polis Coronata, &c. by A. M. 1615. with 
the story of Robin-hood. Printed by G. 
Purstowe. Chrysanaleia, [The gdlden- 
fishery] or the honor of fishmongers, con- 
cerning Mr. John Lernans being twice 
Lord-mayor, by A. M. 1616. 4to v The 
Triumphs of reunited Britannia, &c. by 
A. Munday, citizen and draper of Lon- 
don, 4to. Probably Meres, as in the text, 
calls him the best plotter, from his inven- 
tion in these or the like shows. William 

SECT. Lli.] 



l)est plotter, Chapman, Porter, Wilson, Hathway, and Henry Chettle c ." 
Puttenham, the author of the Arte of English Poesie, mentions the 

Webbe, in theDiscourse of English Poetrie, 
printed in 1586, says, that he has seen by 
Anthony Munday, " an earnest traveller in 
this art, very excellent works, especially 
upon nymphs and shepherds, well worthy 
to be viewed, and to be esteemed as rare 
poetry." In an old play attributed to Jon- 
son, called The Case is altered, he is ridi- 
culed under the name of Antonio Balla- 
dino, and as a pageant-poet. In the same 
scene, there is an oblique stroke on Meres, 
for calling him the best plotter. " You 
are in print already for the best plotter." 
With his city-pageants, I suppose he was 
Dumb-show maker to the stage. 

Munday's Discovery of Campion gave 
great offence to the catholics, and pro- 
duced an anonymous reply called " A 
True Reporte of the deth and martyrdom 
of M. Campion, &c. W hereunto is an- 
nexed certayne verses made by sundrie 
persons." Without date of year or place. 
bl. lett. Never seen by Wood. [Ath. Oxon. 
col. 166.] Published, I suppose, in 1583, 
8vo. At the end is a CAUEAT, contain- 
ing some curious anecdotes of Munday. 
" Munday was first a stage player ; after 
an aprentise, which time he well serued 
by with deceeuing of his master. Then 
wandring towards Italy, by his owne re- 
porte, became a cosener in his journey. 
Coming to Rome, in his shorte abode there, 
was charitably relieued, but neuer admit- 
ted in the Seminary, as he pleseth to lye 
in the title of his boke ; and being wery 
of well doing, returned home to his first 
vornite, and was hist from his stage for 
folly. Being thereby discouraged, he set 
forth a balet against playes, tho he after- 
wards began again to ruffle upon the stage. 
I omit among other places his behaviour 
in Barbican with -his good mistres, and 
mother. Two thinges4iowever must not 
be passed over of this boyes infelicitie two 
seuerall wayes of late notorious. First, he 
writing upon the death of Everaud Haunse 
was immediately controled and disproued 
by one of his owne hatche. And shortly 
after setting forth the Aprehension of Mr. 
Campion," &c. TMie last piece is, " a breef 
Discourse of the Taking of E Imund Cam- 
pion, and divers other papists in Barkshire, 
&c. Gathered by A. M.!' For W.Wrighte, 

He*published in 1618, a new edition of 
Stowe's Survey of London, with the addi- 
tion of materials which he pretends to have 
received from the author's own hands. See 
Dedication. He was a citizen of London, 
and i.s buried in Coleman-strcet church ; 

where his epitaph gives him the character 
of a learned antiquary. Seymour's Surv. 
Lond. i. 322. He collected the Arms of 
the county of Middlesex, lately transferred 
from sir Simeon Stuart's library to the 
British Museum. 

c Fol. 282. I do not recollect to have 
seen any of Chettle's comedies. He wrote 
a little romance, with some verses inter- 
mixed, entitled, " Piers Plainnes seauen 
yeres Prentiship, by H. C. Nuda Veritas. 
Printed at London by J. Danter for Tho- 
mas Gosson, and are to be sold at his shop 
by London-bridge gate, 1595." 4to. bl. 
lett. He wrote another pamphlet, contain- 
ing anecdotes of the petty literary squab- 
bles, in which he was concerned with 
Greene, Nashe, Tarleton, and the players, 
called "Kinde-Harts Dreame. Contain- 
ing five Apparitions with their inuectives 
against abuses raigning. Deliuered by se- 
uerall Ghosts vnto him to be publistit after 
Piers Penilesse Post had refused the car- 
riage. Inuita Inuidia. By H. C. Im- 
printed at London for William Wright." 
4to. without date. bl. lett. In the Epistle 
prefixed, To the Gentlemen Readers, and 
signed Henrie Chettle, he says, " About 
three moneths since died M. Robert Greene 
[in 1592], leaving many papers in sundry 
Booke sellers handes, among others his 
Groats worth of Wit, in which a letter 
written to diuers Play-makers is offen- 
sively by one or two of them taken," & c . 
In the same, he mentions an Epistle pre- 
fixed to the second part of Gerileon, falsely 
attributed to Nashe. The work consists of 
four or five Addresses. The first is an iron- 
ical Admonition to the Ballad-singers of 
London, from Antonie Now Now, or An- 
tony Munday, just mentioned in the text, 
a great Ballad-writer. From this piece it 
appears, that the ancient and respectable 
profession of ballad-making, as well as of 
ballad-singing, was in high repute about 
the metropolis and in the country fairs. 
Signat. C. '. When I was liked, says An- 
thonie, there ivas no thought of that idle 
vpstart generation of ballad-singers, nei- 
ther was there a printer so lewd that would 
set his finger to a lasciuious line." But 
now, he adds, " ballads are abusively chant- 
ed in every street; and from London this 
evil has overspread Essex and the adjoin- 
ing counties. There is many a trades- 
man, of a worshipfull trade, yet no sta- 
tioner, who after a little bringing vppe 
apprentices to singing brokerie, takes into 
his shoppe some fresh men, and trustes his 
olde servauntes of a two months standing 

R 2 




" earle of Oxford, and maister Edwardes of her majesties chappel, for 
comedy and enterlude d ." 

Among the books of my friend the late Mr. William Collins of Chi- 
chester, now dispersed, was a Collection of short comic stories in prose, 
printed in the black letter under the year 1570, "sett forth by maister 
Richard Edwardes mayster of her maiesties reuels." Undoubtedly this 
is the same Edwards, who from this title expressly appears to have 
been the general conductor of the court festivities, and who most pro- 
bably succeeded in this office George Ferrers, one of the original 
authors of the MIRROUR FOR MAGISTRATES e . Among these tales was 

with a dossen groates worth of ballads. In 
which if they prove thriftie, he makes them 
prety chapmen, able to spred more pam- 
phlets by the state forbidden, than all the 
booksellers in London," &c. The names 
of many ballads are here also recorded, 
Watkins Ale, The Carmans Whistle, Chop- 
ping-knives, and Frier Fox-taile. Out- 
roaringe Dick, and Wat Wimbars, two cele- 
brated trebles, are said to have got twenty 
shillings a day by singing at Braintree fair 
in Essex. Another of these Addresses is 
from Robert Greene to Peirce Pennilesse. 
Signat. E. Another from Tarleton the 
Player to all maligners of honest mirth. 
E. 2. " Is it not lamentable," says he, " that 
a man should spende his two pence on 
plays in an afternoone ? If players were 
suppressed, it would be to the no smal 
profit of the Bowlinge Alleys in Bedlam 
and other places, that were [are] wont in 
the afternoones to be left empty by the 
recourse of good fellowes into that vnpro- 
fitable recreation of stage-playing. And 
it were not much amisse woulde they ioine 
with the Dicing-houses to make sute againe 
for their longer restrainte, though the Sick- 
nesse cease. While Playes are usde, halfe 
the daye is by most youthes that haue liber- 
tie spent vppon them, or at least the great- 
est company drawne to the places where 
they frequent," &c. This is all in pure 
irony. The last address is from William 
Cuckowe, a famous master of legerdemain, 
on the tricks of jugglers. I could not suffer 
this opportunity, accidentally offered, to 
pass, of giving a note to a forgotten old 
writer of comedy, whose name may not 
perhaps occur again. But I must add, that 
the initials H. C. to pieces of this period 
do not always mean Henry Chettle. In 
England's Helicon are many pieces signed 
H. C. probably for Henry Constable, a 
noted sonnet-writer of these times. I have 
" Diana, or the excellent conceitfull Son- 
nets of H. C. Augmented with diuers qua- 
torzains of honorable and learned person- 
ages, Diuided into viij. Decads. Vincitur 
afacibus quijacit ipse faces." At Lond. 

1596. 16mo. These are perhaps by Henry 
Constable. The last Sonnet is on a Lady 
born 1588. In my copy, those by H. C. 
are marked H. C. with a pen. Henry Con- 
stable will be examined in his proper place. 
Chettle is mentioned, as a player I think, 
in the last page of Dekker's Knights Con- 
juring, printed in 1607. [In the tract here 
cited, Bentley and not Chettle is intro- 
duced as a player. The sonnets of Con- 
stable, from a MS. in the possession of 
Mr. Todd, have been printed in a late 
Supplement to the Harleian Miscellany. 

d Lib. i. ch. xxxi. fol. 51 a. 
e Who had certainly quitted that of- 
fice before the year 1575. for in George 
Gascoigne's Narrative of queen Eliza- 
beth's splendid visit at Kenilworth-castle 
in Warwickshire, entitled the Princelie 
Pleasures of Kenilworth-castle, the octave 
stanzas spoken by the Lady of the Lake, 
are said to have been " devised and penned 
by M. [Master] Ferrers, sometime Lord 
of Misrule in the Court." Signat. A. iij. 
See also Signat. B. ij. This was George 
Ferrers mentioned in the text, a contri- 
butor to the Mirrour for Magistrates. I 
take this opportunity of insinuating my 
suspicions, that I have too closely follow- 
ed the testimony of Philips, Wood, and 
Tanner, in supposing that this George 
Ferrers, and Edward Ferrers a Avriter of 
plays, were two distinct persons. See 
supr. p. 184. I arn now convinced that 
they have been confounded, and that they 
are one and the same man. We have al- 
ready seen, and from good authority, that 
GEORGE Ferrers was Lord of Misrule to 
the court, that is, among other things of a 
like kind, a writer of court interludes or 
plays ; and that king Edward the Sixth had 
great delight in his pastimes. See supr. vol. 
ii. p. 525. note u . The confusion appears 
to have originated from Puttenham, the 
author of the Arte of English Poesie, who 
has inadvertently given to George the 
Christian name of Edward. But his ac- 
count, or character, of this Edward Per- 




that of the INDUCTION or THE TINKER in Shakspeare's TAMING OF THE 
SHREW; and perhaps Edwards's story-book was the immediate source 
from which Shakspeare, or rather the author of the old TAMING OF A 
SHREW, drew that diverting apologue f . If I recollect right, the cir- 
cumstances almost exactly tallied with an incident which Heuterus re- 
lates, from an Epistle of Ludovicus Vives, to have actually happened 
at the marriage of Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy, about the year 
1440. I will give it in the words, either of Vives, or of that perspicu- 
ous annalist, who flourished about the year 1580. " Nocte quadam a 
caana cum aliquot prsecipuis amicorum per urbem deambulans, jacen- 
tem conspicatus est medio foro hominem de plebe ebrium, altum ster- 
tentem. In eo visum est experiri quale esset vitae nostrse ludicrum, 
de quo illi interdum essent collocuti. Jussit hominem deferri ad Pala- 
tium, et lecto Ducali collocari, nocturnum Ducis pileum capiti ejus im- 
poni, exutaque sordida veste linea, aliam e tenuissimo ei lino indui. 
De mane ubi evigilavit, praesto fuere pueri nobiles ei cubicularii Ducis, 
qui non aliter quam ex Duce ipso quaererent an luberet surgere, et 
quemadmodum vellet eo die vestiri. Prolata sunt Ducis vestimenta. 
Mirari homo ubi se eo loci vidit. Indutus est, prodiit e cubiculo, ad- 
fuere proceres qui ilium ad sacellum deducerent. Interfuit sacro, da- 
tus est illi osculandus liber, et reliqua penitus ut Duci. A sacro ad 
prandium instructissimum. A prandio cubicularius attulit chartas luso- 

rers has served to lead us to the truth. 
" But the principall man in this profes- 
sion [poetry] at the same time [of Edward 
the Sixth] was maister Edward Ferrys, 
a man of no lesse mirth and felicitie that 
way, but of much more skil and magni- 
ficence in his meeter, and therefore wrate 
for the most part to the stage in Tragedie 
and sometimes in Comedie, or Enter- 
lude, wherein he gave the king so much 
good recreation, as he had thereby many 
good rewardes." Lib. i. ch. xxxi. p. 49. 
edit. 1589. And again, "For Tragedie 
the lord of Buckhurst, and maister Edward 
Ferrys, for such doinges as I have sene of 
theirs, do deserve the highest price." 
Ibid. p. 51. His Tragedies, with the 
magnificent meeter, are perhaps nothing 
more than the stately monologues in the 
Mirrour for Magistrates ; and he might 
have written others either for the stage in 
general, or the more private entertain- 
ment of the court, now lost, and probably 
never printed. His Comedie and Enter- 
lude are perhaps to be understood to have 
been, not so much regular and professed 
dramas for a theatre, as little dramatic 
mummeries for the court-holidays, or 
other occasional festivities. The court- 
shows, like this at Kenilworth, were ac- 
companied with personated dialogues in 
verse, and the whole pageantry was often 
styled an interlude. This reasoning also 

accounts for Puttenham's seeming omis- 
sion, in not having enumerated the Mir- 
rour for Magistrates, by name, among the 
shining poems of his age. I have before 
observed, what is much to our purpose, 
that no plays of an Edward Ferrers, (or 
Ferrys, which is the same,) in print or 
manuscript, are now known to exist, nor 
are mentioned by any writer of the times 
with which we are now concerned. 
George Ferrers at least, from what ac- 
tually remains of him, has some title to 
the dramatic character. Our George Fer- 
rers, from the part he bore in the exhibi- 
tions at Kenilworth, appears to have been 
employed as a writer of metrical speeches 
or dialogues to be spoken in character, 
long after he had left the office of lord of 
misrule ; a proof of his reputed excel- 
lence in compositions of this nature, and 
of the celebrity with which he filled that 

[Leland in his Encomia, 1589, has a 
Latin laud Ad Georgium Ferrarium.- 

I also take this opportunity, the earliest 
which has occurred, of retracting another 
slight mistake. See supr. p. 226. There 
was a second edition of Niccols's Mirrour 
for Magistrates, printed for W. A spley, Lon- 
don. 1621. 4to. 

f See Six Old Plays, Lond. 1779. 12mo. 


rias, pecunine acervum. Lusit cum magnatibus, sub serum deambulavit 
in hortulis, venatus est in leporario, et cepit aves aliquot aucupio. 
Caena peracta est pari celebritate qua prandium. Accensis luminibus 
iuducta sunt musica instrumenta, puellse atque nobiles adolescentes 
saltarunt, exhibits sunt fabuke, dehinc comessatio quae hilaritate atque 
invitationibus ad potandum producta est in multam noctem. Ille vero 
largiter se vino obruit praestantissimo ; et postquam collapsus in som- 
num altissimum, jussit eum Dux vestimentis prioribus indui, atque in 
eum locum reportari, quo prius fuerat repertus : ibi transegit noctem 
totam dormiens. Postridie experrectus ccepit secum de vita ilia Du- 
cali cogitare, incertum habens fuissetne res vera, an visum quod animo 
esset per quietem observatum. Tandem collatis conjecturis omnibus 
atque argumentis, statuit somnium fuisse, et ut tale uxori liberis ac viris 
narravit. Quid interest inter diem illius et nostros aliquot annos ? 
Nihil penitus, nisi quod hoc est paulo diuturnius somnium, ac si quis 
unarn duntaxat horam, alter vero decem sonmiasset." 

To an irresistible digression, into which the magic of Shakspeare's 
name has insensibly seduced us, I hope to be pardoned for adding an- 
other narrative of this frolic, from the ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY by 
Democritus junior, or Robert Burton, a very learned and ingenious 
writer of the reign of king James the First. " When as by reason of 
unseasonable weather, he could neither hawke nor hunt, and was now 
tired with cards and dice, and such other domesticall sports, or to see 
ladies dance with some of his courtiers, he would in the evening walke 
disguised all about the towne. It so fortuned, as he was walking late 
one night, he found a country fellow dead drunke, snorting on a bulke : 
hee caused his followers to bring him to his palace, and then stripping 
him of his old clothes, and attyring him in the court-fashion, when he 
wakened, he and they were all ready to attend upon his Excellency, 
and persuaded him he was some great Duke. The poore fellow ad- 
miring how he came there, was served in state all day long : after supper 
he saw them dance, heard musicke, and all the rest of those court-like 
pleasures. But late at night, when he was well tipled, and againe faste 
asleepe, they put on his old robes, and so conveyed him to the place 
where they first found him. Now the fellowe had not made there so 
good sport the day before, as he did now when he returned to himselfe; 
all the jest was, to see how he looked upon it. In conclusion, after 
some little admiration, the poore man told his friends he had scene a 
vision, constantly believed it, would not otherwise be persuaded, and so 
the joke ended h ." If this is a true story, it is a curious specimen of 
the winter-diversions of a very polite court of France in the middle of 

8 Heuterus, Rer. Burgund. lib. iv. p. Part ii. 2. pag. 232. fol. Oxon. 1624. 

150. edit. Plantin. 1584. fol. Heuterus There is an older edition in quarto, 

says, this story was told to Vives by an [Printed in 1621, but dated from the Au- 

old officer of the duke's court. thor's study at Christ Church, Oxon. Dec. 

h Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, 5, 1620. PARK.] 




the fifteenth century. The merit of the contrivance, however, and 
comic effect of this practical joke, will atone in some measure for many 
indelicate circumstances with which it must have necessarily been at- 
tended. I presume it first appeared in Vives's Epistle. I have seen 
the story of a tinker disguised like a lord in recent collections of hu- 
morous tales, probably transmitted from Edwards's story-book, which 
I wish I had examined more carefully. 

I have assigned Edwards to queen Mary's reign, as his reputation in 
the character of general poetry seems to have been then at its height. 
I have mentioned his sonnets addressed to the court-beauties of that 
reign, and of the beginning of the reign of queen Elizabeth 1 . 

If I should be thought to have been disproportionately prolix in 
speaking of Edwards, I would be understood to have partly intended a 
tribute of respect to the memory of a poet, who is one of the earliest of 
our dramatic writers after the reformation of the British stage. 

- * Viz. Tit. A. xxiv. MSS. Cott. (See 
supv. p. 237.) I will here cite a few lines. 
Hawarde is not haugte, but of such smy- 

lynge cheare, 
That wolde alure eche gentill harte, hir 

love to holde fulle deare : 
Dacars is not dangerus, hir talke is no- 

thinge coye, 
Hir noble stature may compare with 

Hector's wyfe of Troye, &c. 
At the end " Finis R. E." I have a faint 
recollection, that some of Edwards's songs 
are in a poetical miscellany, printed by 
T. Colwell in 1567 or 15C8. " Newe 
Sonettes and pretty pamphlettes," &c. 
Entered to Colwell in 1567-8. Registr. 
Station. A. fol. 163 b. I cannot quit 
Edwards's songs, without citing the first 
stanza of his beautiful one in the Para- 
dise of Daintie Denises, on Terence's 
apophthegm of slmantium irae amoris in- 
tegratio est. Num. 50. Signal. G. ii.1585. 
In going to my naked bed, as one that 

would have slept, 
I heard a wife sing to her child, that long 

before had wept: 
She sighed sore, and sang full sweete, to 

bring the babe to rest, 
That would not cease, but cried still, in 

sucking at her brest. 

She was full wearie of her watch, and 

greeved with her childe ; 
She rocked it, and rated it, till that on 

her it smilde. 
Then did she say, now haue I found this 

Prouerbe true to proue, 
The falling out of faithfull frendes re- 

nuyng is of loue. 

The close of the second stanza is prettily 

Then kissed she her little babe, and sware 

by God aboue, 
The falling out of faithfull frendes, re- 

nuyng is of loue. 

[Sir Egerton Brydges, in his republica- 
tion of Edwards's Miscellany, considers 
this poem, even without reference to the 
age which produced it, among the most 
beautiful morceaux of our language. The 
happiness of the illustration of Terence's 
apophthegm, the facility, elegance and 
tenderness of the diction, and the ex- 
quisite turn of the whole, he deems above 
commendation ; while they show to what 
occasional polish and refinement our lite- 
rature even then had arrived. Pref. p. vi. 



Tusser. Remarkable circumstances of his life. His Husbandrie, one 

of our earliest didactic poems, examined. 

ABOUT the same time flourished Thomas Tusser, one of our earliest 
didactic poets, in a science of the highest utility, and which produced 
one of the most beautiful poems of antiquity. The vicissitudes of this 
man's life have uncommon variety and novelty for the life of an author, 
and his history conveys some curious traces of the times as well as of 
himself. He seems to have been alike the sport of fortune, and a dupe 
to his own discontented disposition and his perpetual propensity to 
change of situation. 

He was born of an ancient family, about the year 1523, at Rivenhall 
in Essex ; and was placed as a chorister, or singing-boy, in the colle- 
giate chapel of the castle of Wallingford in Berkshire 8 . Having a fine 
voice, he was impressed from Wallingford college into the king's 
chapel. Soon afterwards he was admitted into the choir of saint Paul's 
cathedral in London ; where he made great improvements under the in- 
struction of John Redford the organist, a famous musician. He was 
next sent to Eton- school, where, at one chastisement, he received fifty- 
three stripes of the rod from the severe but celebrated master Nicholas 
Udall b . His academical education was at Trinity-hall in Cambridge: 
but Hatcher affirms, that he was from Eton admitted a scholar of King's 
College in that university, under the year 154-3 C . From the university 
he was called up to court by his singular and generous patron William 
lord Paget, in whose family he appears to have been a retainer d . In 
this department he lived ten years ; but being disgusted with the vices, 
and wearied with the quarrels of the courtiers, he retired into the coun- 
try, and embraced the profession of a farmer, which he successively prac- 
tised at Ratwood in Sussex, Ipswich in Suffolk, Fairstead in Essex, 
Norwich, and other places 6 . Here his patrons were sir Richard South- 

a This chapel had a dean, six prebend- [It was first inscribed to his father 

aries, six clerks, and four choristers. It Lord William Paget, 1586. PARK.] 

was dissolved in 1549. e In Peacham's Minerva, a book of 

b Udall's English interludes, mentioned emblems printed in 1612, there is the de- 

above, were perhaps written for his scho- vice of a whetstone and a scythe with these 

lars. Thirty-five lines of one of them are lines, fol. 61. edit. 4to. 

,eH m e, Tusse, when ,hou 
as " &c alive, 

'c MSS. Catal. Pr* P os. Soc. Schol. Coll. jd hadst for profit turned euery stone, 

in, Where ere thou earnest thou couldst neuer 

IVCgtU. LyilllL. , . 

d Our author's Husbandrie is dedicated tnrme, 

to his son Lord Thomas Paget of Beau- Thou S h heereto best couldst COunsel ever y 

desert, fol. 7. eh. ii. edit, ut infr. one 


well f , and Salisbury dean of Norwich. Under the latter he procured 
the place of a singing-man in Norwich cathedral. At length, having 
perhaps too much philosophy and too little experience to succeed in the 
business of agriculture, he returned to London ; but the plague drove 
him away from town, and he took shelter at Trinity college in Cam- 
bridge. Without a tincture of careless imprudence, or vicious extra- 
vagance, this desultory character seems to have thrived in no vocation. 
Fuller says, that his stone, which gathered no moss, was the stone of 
Sisyphus. His plough and his poetry were alike unprofitable. He was 
by turns a fiddler and a farmer, a grazier and a poet, with equal suc- 
cess. He died very aged at London in 1580*, and was buried in saint 
Mildred's church in the Poultry &. 

Some of these circumstances, with many others of less consequence, 
are related by himself in one of his pieces, entitled the AUTHOR'S LIFE, 
as follows. 

What robes h how bare, what colledge fare ! 

What bread how stale, what pennie ale ! 

Then WALLINGFORD, how wert thou abhord 

Thence for my voice, I must, no choice, 
Away of forse, like posting horse ; 
For sundrie men had placardes then 

Such child to take. 
The better brest 1 , the lesser rest, 
To serue the queer, now there now heer: 
For time so spent, I may repent, 

And sorowe make. 

As it may in thy Husbandrie appeare not die very aged in 1580 ; as he was 

Wherein afresh thou liust among vs only 57. If he went to college in 1543, 

here. aged 20, stayed there three years, and then 

So like thy selfe a number more are followed the court for ten years, he must 

wont have been 33 at least when he married : 

To sharpen others with advice of wit, this brin 8 s us to 1556 and the ver y next 

When they themselues are like the whet- vear P rodu ced the first edition of his Hus- 

stone blunt, &c. bandry ; which seems too short a space 

[In a volume of epigrams, entitled to furnish the practical knowledge disco- 

The More the Merrier," 1608, by H. P. ve ^ ed m that work. ASHBY.] 

(qu. Peacham or Parrot) these lines were J See his Epitaph in Stowe's Surv. 

anticipated in part. Lend. p. 474. edit. 1618. 4to. And 

Fuller's Worthies, p. 334. 

Adlusserum. [Fuller onl collectg the datg 

Tusser, they tell me, when thou wert death to be about 1580 ._p ARK .j 


So, like the whetstone, many men are le f To the passages lately collected by 

. the commentators on Shakspeare to prove 

To sharpen others when themselves are that breast signifieg voice> \^ foIIo F wing 

may be added from Ascham's Toxophilus. 

f See Life of Sir Thomas Pope, 2d edit. He is speaking of the expediency of edu- 

p. 218. eating youth in singing. " Trulye two 

* [If Tusser was born in 1523, he could degrees of men, which haue the highest 


But raarke the chance, myself to vance, 
By friendships lot, to PAULES I got ; 
So found I grace a certaine space, 

Still to remaine. 

With REDFORD there, the like no where, 
For cunning such, and vertue much, 
By whom some part of musicke art, 

So did I gaine. 

From PAULES I went, to EATON sent, 

To learne straighte waies the Latin phraies, 

Where fiftie three stripes giuen to me 

At once I had : 

The fault but small, or none at all, 
It came to pas, thus beat I was : 
See, Udall, see, the mercie of thee 

To me, poore lad ! 

To LONDON hence, to CAMBRIDGE thence, 
With thankes to thee, O TRINITE, 
That to thy HALL, so passinge all, 

I got at last. 
There ioy I felt, there trim I dwelt, &c. 

At length he married a wife by the name of Moone, from whom, for 
an obvious reason, he expected great inconstancy, but was happily dis- 

Through Uenus' toies, in hope of ioies, 

I chanced soone to finde a Moone, 
Of cheerfull hew : 

Which well and fine, methought, did shine, 

And neuer change, a thing most strange, 

Yet kept in sight her course aright, 
Arid compas trew, &c. k 

Before I proceed, I must say a few words concerning the very re- 
markable practice implied in these stanzas, of seizing boys by a warrant 
for the service of the king's chapel. Strype has printed an abstract of 
an instrument, by which it appears, that emissaries were dispatched 
into various parts of England with full powers to take boys from any 
choir for the use of the chapel of king Edward the Sixth. Under the 
year 1550, says Strype, there was a grant of a commission "to Philip 
Van Wilder gentleman of the Privy Chamber, in anie churches or 

offices under the king in all this realme, k Fol. 155. edit. 1586. See also The 

shall greatly lacke the vse of singinge, Authors Epistle to the late lord William 

preachers and lawyers, because they shall Paget, wherein he doth discourse of his 

not, withoute this, be able to rule theyr oivne bringing up, &c. fol. 5. And the 

BRESTES for euerye purpose," &c. fol. 8 b. Epistle to Lady Paget, fol. 7. And his 

Lond. 1571. 4to. bl. lett. rules for training a boy in music, fol. 141. 


chappells within England to take to the king's use, such and as many 
singing children and choristers, as he or his deputy shall think good '." 
And again, in the following year, the master of the king's chapel, that 
is, the master of the king's singing-boys, has licence " to take up from 
time to time as many children [boys] to serve in the king's chapel as 
he shall think fit m ." Under the year 1454-, there is a commission of 
the same sort from king Henry the Sixth, De ministrallis propter sola- 
tium regis providendis, for procuring minstrels, even by force, for the 
solace or entertainment of the king : and it is required, that the min- 
strels so procured, should be not only skilled in arte minstrallatus, in 
the art of minstrelsy, but membris naturalibus elegantes, handsome and 
elegantly shaped 11 . As the word Minstrel is of an extensive significa- 
tion, and is applied as a general term to every character of that species 
of men whose business it was to entertain, either with oral recitation, 
music, gesticulation, and singing, or with a mixture of all these arts united, 
it is certainly difficult to determine, whether singers only, more particu- 
larly singers for the royal chapel/were here intended. The last clause 
may perhaps more immediately seem to point out tumblers or posture- 
masters . But in the register of the capitulary acts of York cathedral, 
it is ordered as an indispensable qualification, that the chorister who is 
annually to be elected the boy-bishop, should be competenter corpore 
formosus. I will transcribe an article of the register, relating to that 
ridiculous ceremony. " Dec. 2. 1367. Joannes de Quixly confirmatur 
Episcopus Puerorum, et Capitulum ordinavit, quod electio episcopi 
Puerorum in ecclesia Eboracensi de cetero fieret de eo, qui diutius et 
magis in dicta ecclesia laboraverit, et magis idoneus repertus fuerit, 
durn tamen competenter sit corpore formosus, et quod aliter facta elec- 
tio non valebitP." It is certainly a matter of no consequence, whether 

1 Dat. April. Strype's Mem. Eccl. ii. who rode before his majesty, and often 

p. 538. fell from his horse, at which his majesty 

"' Ibid. p. 539. Under the same year, laughed heartily, de queux roy rya gran- 

a yearly allowance of 801. is specified, tement. The laughter of kings was thought 

" to find six singing children for the king's worthy to be recorded, 
privy chamber." Ibid. I presume this p Registr. Archiv. Eccles. Ebor. MSS. 

appointment was transmitted from pre- In the Salisbury-missal, in the office of 

ceding reigns. Episcopus Puerorum, among the suffrages 

n Rym. Feed. xi. 375. we read, "Corpore enim formosus es, O 

Even so late as the present reign of fili, et diffusa est gratia in labiis tuis," &c. 

queen Mary, we find tumblers introduced In further proof of the solemnity with 

for the diversion of the court. In 1556, which this farce was conducted, I will cite 

at a grand military review of the queen's another extract from the chapter-registers 

pensioners in Greenwich park, "came a at York. " xj febr. 1370. In Scriptoria 

Tumbler and played many pretty feats, capituli Ebor. dominus Johannes Gisson, 

the queen and Cardinal [Pole] looking magister choristarum ecclesise Ebora- 

on ; whereat she was observed to laugh censis, liberavit Roberto de Holme cho- 

heartily," &c. Strype's Eccl. Mem. iii. ristae, qui tune ultimo fuerat episcopus 

p. 312. ch. xxxix. Mr. Astle has a roll puerorum, iij libras, xvs. jd. ob. de per- 

of some private expences of king Edward quisitis ipsius episcopi per ipsum Johan- 

the Second ; among which it appears, that nem receptis, et dictus Robertus ad sancta 

fifty shillings were paid to a person who Dei evangelia per ipsum corporaliter tacta 

danced before the king on a table, "et juravit, quod nunquam molestaret dictum 

lui fist tres-grandement rire ;" and that dominum Johannem de summa pecunia 

twenty shillings were allowed to another, pntidida." Registr, Ebor. 


we understand these Minstrels of Henry the Sixth to have been singers, 
pipers, players, or posture-masters. From the known character of that 
king, I should rather suppose them performers for his chapel. In any 
sense, this is an instance of the same oppressive and arbitrary privilege 
that was practised on our poet. 

Our author Tusser wrote, during his residence at Ratwood in Sussex, 
a work in rhyme entitled A HUNDRETH GOOD POINTES OF HUSBAND- 
RIB, which was printed at London in 1557*1. But it was soon after- 
wards reprinted, with additions and improvements, under the following 
title, " Five hundreth pointes of good Husbandrie as well for the Cham- 
pion or open countrie, as also for the Woodland or Severall, mixed in 
euerie moneth with Huswiferie, ouer and besides the booke of Hus- 
WIFERTE. Corrected, better ordered, and newlie augmented a fourth 
part more, with diuers other lessons, as a diet for the farmer, of the 
properties of windes, planets, hops, herbs, bees, and approved remedies 
for sheepe and cattell, with manie other matters both profitabell and 
not vnpleasant for the Reader. Also a table of HUSBANDRIE at the 
beginning of this booke, and another of HUSWIFERIE* at the end, &c. 
Newlie set foorth by THOMAS TUSSER gentleman 1 "." 

It must be acknowledged, that this old English georgic has much 
more of the simplicity of Hesiod than of the elegance of Virgil ; and 
a modern reader would suspect, that many of its salutary maxims ori- 
ginally decorated the margins, and illustrated the calendars, of an an- 
cient almanac. It is without invocations, digressions, and descriptions: 
no pleasing pictures of rural imagery are drawn from meadows covered 
with flocks and fields waving with corn, nor are Pan and Ceres once 
named. Yet it is valuable, as a genuine picture of the agriculture, the 

q Quarto, bl. lett. [This edition differs ley, London 1593. bl. lett. 4to. Again 

very materially from those which sue- at London, printed by Peter Short, 1597. 

ceeded it. A reprint of it was given in bl. lett. 4to. The last I have seen is dated 

the Bibliographer. PARK.] In 1557, 1610. 4to. 

John Daye has licence to print " the In the Register of the Stationers, a re- 

hundreth poyntes of good Husserie." ceipt of T. Hackett is entered for licence 

Registr. Station. A. fol. 2 3 a. In 1559-60, for printing "A dialoge of wyvynge and 

jun. 20, T. Marshe has licence to print thryvynge of Tusshers with ij lessons for 

"the boke of Husbandry." Ibid. fol. 48 b. olde and yonge," in 1562 or 1563. Re- 

This last title occurs in these registers gistr. Stat. Comp. Lond. notat. A. fol. 74 b. 

much lower. [The writer was Fitzher- I find licenced to Aide in 1565, "An 

bert. HERBERT.] hundreth poyntes of evell huswyfraye," I 

* [In a tract entitled "Tom of all suppose a satire on Tusser. Ibid. fol. 131 b. 

Trades," and printed in 1631, it is parti- In 1561, Richard Tottell was to print 

cularly recommended to women, to read " A booke intituled one hundreth good 

the groundes of good Huswi/ery instead poyntes of husboundry lately maryed un- 

of reading Sir P. Sidney's Arcadia. to a hundreth good poyntes of Huswiffry 

PARK.] newly corrected and amplyfyed." Ibid. 

r The oldest edition with this title fol. 74 a. 

which I have seen is in quarto, dated [This was put forth by Tottell in 1562 

1586, and printed at London, "in the and 1570. Augmented editions appeared 

now dwelling house of Henrie Denham in 1573, 1577, 1580, 1585, 1586, 1590, 

in Aldersgate streete at the signe of the 1593,1597,1599, 1604, 1610, 1630, 1672, 

starre." In black letter, containing 164 1692, 1710, 1744. AH but the last in 

pages. The next edition is for H. Yard- 4to. bl. lett. PARK.] 


rural arts, and the domestic economy and customs, of our industrious 

I must begin my examination of this work with the apology of Virgil 
on a similar subject, 

Possum multa tibi veterum praecepta referre, 
Ni refugis, tenuesque piget cognoscere curas 8 . 

I first produce a specimen of his directions for cultivating a hop- 
garden, which may, perhaps not unprofitably, be compared with the 
modern practice. 

Whom fansie perswadeth, among other crops, 
To haue for his spending, sufficient of hops, 
Must willingly follow, of choises to choose, 
Such lessons approued, as skilful do vse. 

Ground grauellie, sandie, and mixed with claie, 
Is naughtie for hops, anie maner of waie ; 
Or if it be mingled with rubbish and stone, 
For drinesse and barrennesse let it alone. 

Choose soile for the hop of the rottenest mould, 
Well doonged and wrought, as a garden-plot should ; 
Not far from the water, but not ouerflowne, 
This lesson well noted is meete to be knowne. 

The sun in the southe, or else southlie and west, 
Is ioie to the hop, as a welcomed guest ; 
But wind in the north, or else northerlie east, 
To the hop is as ill as a fraie in a feast. 

Meet plot for a hop-yard, once found as is told, 
Make thereof account, as of iewell of gold : 
Now dig it and leaue it, the sunne for to burne, 
And afterward fence it, to serue for that turne. 

The hop for his profit I thus doo exalt : 
It strengthened drinke, and it fauoreth malt ; 
And being well brewed, long kept it will last, 
And drawing abide if ye drawe not too fast. 4 

To this work belongs the well known old song, which begins, 

The Ape, the Lion, the Fox, and the Asse, 
Thus setts foorth man in a glasse, &c. u 

8 Georgic. i. 176. Whom fury long fosterd by sufferance 

4 Chap. 42. fol. 93. In this stanza, is and awe, 

a copy of verses by one William Kethe, a Have right rule subverted, and made will 
divine of Geneva, prefixed to Dr. Christo- their lawe, 

pher Goodman's absurd and factious pam- Whose pride how to temper, this truth 
phlet against queen Mary, How superior will thee tell, 

Powers, &c. Printed at Geneva by John So as thou resist mayst, and yet not rebel, 
Crispin, 1558. 16mo. &c. u Chap. 50. fol. 107. 


For the farmer's general diet he assigns, in Lent, red herrings, and 
salt fish, which may remain in store when Lent is past : at Easter, veal 
and bacon : at Martinmas, salted beef, when dainties are not to be 
had in the country : at Midsummer, when mackerel are no longer in 
season, grasse, or sallads, fresh beef, and pease : at Michaelmas, fresh 
herrings, with fatted crones, or sheep : at All Saints, pork and pease, 
sprats and spurlings : at Christmas, good cheere arid plaie. The 
farmer's weekly fish-days, are Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday ; and 
he is charged to be careful in keeping embrings and fast-days w . 

Among the Husbandlie Furniture are recited most of the instru- 
ments now in use, yet with several obsolete and unintelligible names of 
farming utensils x . Horses, I know not from what superstition, are to 
be annually blooded on Saint Stephen's day?. Among the Christmas 
husbandtte fare* , our author recommends good drinke, a good fire in 
the Hall, brawne, pudding and souse, and mustard withall, beef, mut- 
ton, and pork, shred, or minced, pies of the best, pig, veal, goose, capon, 
and turkey, cheese, apples, and nuts, with jolie carols. A Christmas 
carol is then introduced to the tune of King Salomon 21 . 

In a comparison between Champion and Severall, that is, open and 
inclosed land, the disputes about inclosures appear to have been as 
violent as at present a . Among his Huswifelie Admonitions, which are 
not particularly addressed to the farmer, he advises three dishes at 
dinner, which being well dressed, will be sufficient to please your friend, 
and will become your Hall b . The prudent housewife is directed to 
make her own tallow-candles c . Servants of both sexes are ordered to 
go to bed at ten in the summer, and nine in the winter ; to rise at five 
in the winter, and four in the summer d . The ploughman's feasting 

w Chap. 12. fol. 25, 26. Mar. 4, 1559, there is a receipt from 
x Chap. 15. fol. 31, 32, 33. y Fol. 52. Ralph Newbery for his licence for pririt- 
* [Tusser, says Mr. Stiilingfleet, seems ing a ballad called " Kynge Saloman." 
to have been a good-natured cheerful Registr. Station. Coinp. Lond. notat. A. 
man, and though a lover of ceconomy, far fol. 48 a. Again, in 1561, a licence to 
from meanness, as appears in many of print "iij balletts, the one entituled Newes 
his precepts, wherein he shows his dis- oute of Kent; the other, a newe ballat 
approbation of that pitiful spirit which after the tune of Jcynge Solomon ; and the 
makes farmers starve their cattle, their other, Newes out of Heaven and Hell." 
land, and every thing belonging to them; Ibid. fol. 75 a. See Lycence of John 
choosing rather to lose a pound than Tysdale for printing " Certayne goodly 
spend a shilling. He throws his precepts Carowles to be songe to the glory of God," 
into a calendar, and gives many good in 1562. Ibid. fol. 86 a. Again, Ibid, 
rules in general, both in relation to agri- " Crestenmas Carowles auctorisshed by 
culture and ceconomy ; and had he not my lord of London." A ballad of Solo- 
written in miserable hobbling and obscure mon and the queen of Sheba is entered in 
verse, might have rendered more service 1567. Ibid fol. 166 a. In 1569, is en- 
to his countrymen. Mem. for Hist, of tered an " Enterlude for boyes to handle 
Husbandry in Coxe's Life of Stiilingfleet, and to passe tyme at Christimas." Ibid, 
ii. 567. PARK-] fol. 183 b. Again, in the same year, fol. 

z Chap. 30. fol. 37. These are four of 185 b. More instances follow, 

the lines : a Chap. 52. fol. 111. 

Euen Christ, I meane, that virgins child, b Fo " 133 - 

In Bethlem born : : Fol. 135. 
That lambe of God, that prophet mild, 
Crowned with thorne ! 




days, or holidays, are PLOUGH-MONDAY, or the first Monday after 
Twelfth-day, when ploughing begins, in Leicestershire. SHROF-TIDE, 
or SHROVE-TUESDAY, in Essex and Suffolk, when after shroving, or 
confession, he is permitted to go thresh the fat hen, and " if blindfold 
[you] can kill her, then giue it thy men," and to dine on fritters and 
pancakes 6 . SHEEP-SHEARING, which is celebrated in Northamptonshire 
with wafers and cakes. The WAKE-DAY, or the vigil of the church 
saint, when everie wanton male danse at her will, as in Leicestershire, 
and the oven is to be filled withflawnes. HARVEST-HOME, when the 
harvest-home goose is to be killed. SEED-CAKE, a festival so called at 
the end of wheat-sowing, in Essex and Suffolk, when the village is to 
be treated with seed-cakes, pasties, and the frumentie-pot. But twice 
a week, according to ancient right and custom, the farmer is to give 
roast-meat, that is, on Sundays and on Thursday nights f . We have 
then a set of posies or proverbial rhymes, to be written in various 
rooms of the house, such as " Husbandlie posies for the Hall, Posies 
for the Parlour, Posies for the Ghests chamber, and Posies for thine 
own bedchamber^." Botany appears to have been eminently culti- 
vated, and illustrated with numerous treatises in English, throughout 

e I have before mentioned Shrove- 
Tuesday as a day dedicated to festivities. 
See supr. vol. ii. p. 530. note q . In some 
parts of Germany it was usual to celebrate 
Shrove-tide with bonfires. Lavaterus 
of Ghostes, &c. translated into English 
by R. H. Lond. 1572. 4to. fol. 51. bl. 
lett. Polydore Virgil says, that so early 
as the year 1 170, it was the custom of the 
English nation to celebrate their Christ- 
mas with plays, masques, and the most 
magnificent spectacles ; together with 
games at dice, and dancing. This prac- 
tice, he adds, was not conformable to the 
usage of most other nations, who per- 
mitted these diversions, not at Christ- 
mas, but a few days before Lent, about 
the time of Shrovetide. Hist. Augl. lib. 
xiii. f. 211. Basil. 1534. By the way, 
Polydore Virgil observes, that the Christ- 
mas-prince or Lord of Misrule, is almost 
peculiar to the English. De Rer. Inventor, 
lib. v. cap. ii. Shrove-Tuesday seems to 
have been sometimes considered as the 
last day of Christmas, and on that account 
might be celebrated as a festival. In the 
year 1440, on Shrove-Tuesday, which 
that year was in March, at Norwich there 
was a " Disport in the streets, when one 
rode through the streets havyrig his hors 
trappyd with tyn-soyle, and other nyse 
disgysyngs, coronned as Kyng of Creste- 
masse, in tokyn that seson should end 
with the twelve moneths of the yere : 

aforn hym wentyche [each] Moneth dys- 
gusysyd after the seson requiryd," &c. 
Blomf. Norf. ii. p. 111. This very po- 
etical pageantry reminds me of a similar 
and a beautiful procession at Rome, de- 
scribed by Lucretius, where the Seasons, 
with their accompaniments, walk per- 
sonified. Lib. v. 736. 

It VER et VENUS, et Veneris prsenuntius 

Pinnatus ZEPHYRUS graditur vestigia 

propter ; 
FLORA quibus mater praespergens ante 

Cuncta coloribus egregiis et odoribus 

Inde AUTUMN us adit, &c. 

[For an account of the several festivals 
mentioned in the text, see Mr. Erand's 
" Popular Antiquities." PRICE.] 

f Fol. 138. 

6 Fol. 144, 145. See Inscriptions of 
this sort in " The Welspring of wittie 
Conceites," translated from the Italian by 
W. Phist. Lond. for 11. Jones, 1584. bl. 
lett. 4to. Signal. N. 2. 

[This is one of the books which Ritson 
regarded as supposititious ; but a copy of it 
is in the library of Mr. Bindley, whence 
several extracts were taken, and exhibited 
to public attention in the Monthly Mirror 
for July 1803. Another copy occurs in 
the Bodleian library. PARK.] 


the latter part of the sixteenth century h . In this work are large enu- 
merations of plants, as well for the medical as the culinary garden. 

Our author's general precepts have often an expressive brevity, and 
are sometimes pointed with an epigrammatic turn and a smartness of 
allusion. As thus, 

Saue wing for a thresher, when gander doth die ; 
Saue fethers of all things, the softer to lie : 
Much spice is a theefe, so is candle and fire ; 
Sweet sause is as craftie as euer was frier. 1 

Again, under the lessons of the housewife, 

Though cat, a good mouser, doth dwell in a house, 
Yet euer in dairie haue trap for a mouse : 
Take heed how thou laiest the bane k for the rats, 
For poisoning thy servant, thyself, and thy brats. 1 

And in the following rule of the smaller economics, 

Saue droppings and skimmings, however ye doo, 
For medcine, for cattell, for cart, and for shoo. m 

In these stanzas on haymaking, he rises above his common manner* 
Go muster thy seruants, be captain thyselfe, 
Prouiding them weapons, and other like pelfe : 
Get bottells and wallets, keepe fielde in the heat, 
The feare is as much as the danger is great. 
With tossing, and raking, and setting on cox, 
Grasse latelie in swathes, is haie for an oxe. 
That done, go to cart it, and haue it awaie : 
The battell is fought, ye haue gotten the daie." 

A great variety of verse is used in this poem, which is thrown into 
numerous detached chapters . The HUSBANDRIE is divided into the 

h See the Preface to Johnson's edition See Preface to the Buier of this Booke, 

of Gerharde's Herbal, printed in 1633. ch.5. fol. 14. In the same measure is the 

fol. Comparison betweene Champion Countrie 

1 Fol. 134. k poison. and Severall, ch. 52. fol. 108. 

1 Fol. 131. m Fol. 134. [The Preface above cited, contained 

n Fol. 95. ch. 44. two stanzas thus worded, in the edition 

In this book I first find the metre of of 1570, I believe, only 

What lookest thou here for to have ? 
Despairing beside a clear stream." Trim verseg> thy fansie to please ? 

For instance : Of Surry, so famous, that crave ; 

What looke ye, I praieyou shew what? Looke nothing but rudenesse in these. 

Termes painted with rhetorike fine ? What other thi lookest thou then ? 

Good husbandrie seeketh not that, Grave sen tences herein to finde ? 

Nor ist ame meaning of mine. Such Chaucer hath twentie and ten, 

What lookest thou, speeke at the last, Yea, thousands to pleasure thy minde. 

Good lessons for thee and thy wife ? PARK.] 

Then keepe them in memorie fast 
To helpe as a comfort to life. 


several months. Tusser, in respect of his antiquated diction, and his 
argument, may not improperly be styled the English Varro*. 

Such were the rude beginnings in the English language of didactic 
poetry, which, on a kindred subject, the present age has seen brought 
to perfection, by the happy combination of judicious precepts with the 
most elegant ornaments of language and imagery, in Mr. Mason's 


William Forrest's poems. His Queen Catharine, an elegant manuscript, 
contains anecdotes of Henry s divorce. He collects and, preserves 
ancient music. Puritans oppose the study of the classics. Lucas 
Shepherd. John Pullayne. Numerous metrical versions of Solo- 
mons Song. Censured by Hall the satirist. Religious rhymers. 
Edward More. Boy-bishop, and miracle-play s> revived by queen 
Mary* Minute particulars of an ancient miracle-play. 

AMONG Antony Wood's manuscripts in the Bodleian library at Oxford, 
I find a poem of considerable length written by William Forrest, chap- 
lain to queen Mary a . It is entitled, " A true and most notable History 
of a right noble and famous Lady produced in Spayne entitled the 
second GRESIELD, practised not long out of this time in much part 
tragedous as delectable both to hearers and readers." This is a pane- 
gyrical history in octave rhyme, of the life of queen Catharine, the 
first queen of king Henry the Eighth. The poet compares Catharine 
to patient Grisild, celebrated by Petrarch and Chaucer, and Heiiry to 

* [Barnaby Googe, in his preface to fine poet, the Englishman an unskilful 

the translation of Herebach's four books versifier. However, there is something 

of Husbandrie, 1578, sets Fitzherbert and very pleasing in our countryman's lines 

Tusser on a level with Varro and Colu- now and then, though of the rustic kind ; 

mella and Palladius : but the sedate Stil- and sometimes his thoughts are aptly and 

lingfleet would rather compare Tusser to concisely expressed : e. g. 
old Hesiod, from the following considera- 
dons. They both wrote in the infancy of "' 

husbandry in their different countries : 

both gave good general precepts without Bind ' fast ' shock a P ace > have an e y e 

entering into the detail, though Tusser ne ' , , .. 

has more of it than Hesiod: they both Lode^e, carry home, follow tune 

seem desirous to improve the morals of 

their readers as well as their farms, by ^'" ' " 

recommending industry and ceconomy : 

and, that which perhaps maybe looked Mem. for Hist, of Husbandry in the Works 

upon as the greatest resemblance, they of Benj. Stillingfleet, ii. 572. PARK.] 

both wrote in verse ; probably for the * In folio. MSS. Cod. A. Wood. Num. 

same reason, namely, to propagate their 2. They werepurchased by the University 

doctrines more effectually. But here the after Wood's death. 

resemblance ends : the Greek was a very 



earl Walter her husband 5 . Catharine had certainly the patience and 
conjugal compliance of Grisild ; but Henry's cruelty was not, like 
Walter's, only artificial and assumed. It is dedicated to queen Mary* : 
and Wood's manuscript, which was once very superbly bound and 
embossed, and is elegantly written on vellum, evidently appears to have 
been the book presented by the author to her majesty. Much of its 
ancient finery is tarnished ; but on the brass bosses at each corner is 
still discernible AVE MARIA GRATIA PLENA. At the end is this colo- 
phon : " Here endeth the Historye of Grysilde the second, dulie mean- 
yng Queene Catharine mother to our most dread soveraigne Lady 
queene Mary, fynysched the xxv day of June, the yeare of owre Lorde 
1558. By the symple and unlearned Syr Wylliam Forrest preeiste, 
propria manu." The poem, which consists of twenty chapters, contains 
a zealous condemnation of Henry's divorce; and, I believe, preserves 
some anecdotes, yet apparently misrepresented by the writer's religious 
and political bigotry, not extant in any of our printed histories. Forrest 
was a student at Oxford, at the time when this notable and knotty point 
of casuistry prostituted the learning of all the universities of Europe, 
to the gratification of the capricious amours of a libidinous and impla- 
cable tyrant. He has recorded many particulars and local incidents of 
what passed in Oxford during that transaction . At the end of the 
poem is a metrical ORATION CONSOLATORY, in six leaves, to queen 

In the British Museum is another of Forrest's poems, written in two 
splendid folio volumes on vellum, called " The tragedious troubles of 
the most chast and innocent Joseph, son to the holy patriarch Jacob," 
and dedicated to Thomas Howard duke of Norfolk d . In the same re- 
pository is another of his pieces, never printed, dedicated to king Edward 
the Sixth, " A notable warke called The PLEASANT POESIE OF PRINCE- 
LIE PRACTISE, composed of late by the simple and unlearned sir Wil- 

b The affecting story of Patient Grisild the towardliness of the princess Catharine's 
seems to have long kept up its celebrity. younger years : 

hs "* 

fol. 132 b. Two ballads are enered in , 

1565, " to the tune of pacyente GresselL" 

Ibid. fol. 135 a. In the same year T. He adds, that she was a pure virgin when 

Colwell has licence to print " The History married to the king ; and that her first 

of meke and pacyent Gresell." Ibid, fol. husband prince Arthur, on account of his 

139 a. Colwell has a second edition of tender years, never slept with her. 

this history in 1568. Ibid. fol. 177 a. d MSS. Reg. 18 C. xiii. It appears to 

Instances occur much lower. have once belonged to the library of John 

* [In poetic compliment to his royal Theyer of Cooper's-hill near Gloucester. 

patroness, Forrest wrote and printed " A There is another copy in University-col- 

new ballade of the Mari-golde." This is lege Library, MSS. G. 7. with gilded leaves. 

preserved in the archives of the Society This, I believe, once belonged to Robert 

<of Antiquaries, and has been reprinted in earl of Aylesbury. Pr. " In Canaan that 

the Harl. Miscell. Suppl. vol. ii. PARK.] country opulent." 

e In the first chapter, he thus speaks of 


liam Forrest priest, much part collected out of a booke entitled the 
GOVERNANCE OF NOBLEMEN, which booke the wyse philosopher Ari- 
stotle wrote to his disciple Alexander the Great 6 ." The book here men- 
tioned is ^Egidius Romanus de REGIMINE PRINCIPUM, which yet re- 
tained its reputation and popularity from the middle age f . I ought to 
have observed before, that Forrest translated into English metre fifty 
of David's Psalms, in 1551, which are dedicated to the duke of So- 
merset, the Protector^. Hence we are led to vsuspect, that our author 
could accommodate his faith to the reigning powers. Many more of 
his manuscript pieces both in prose and verse, all professional and of 
the religious kind, were in the hands of Robert earl of Ailesbury 11 . 
Forrest, who must have been living at Oxford, as appears from his poem 
on queen Catharine, so early as the year 1530, was in reception of an 
annual pension of six pounds from Christ-church in that university, in 
the year 1555'. He was eminently skilled in music; and with much 
diligence and expense, he collected the works of the most excellent 
English composers, that were his cotemporaries. These, being the 
choicest compositions of John Taverner of Boston, organist of Cardi- 
nal-college now Christ-church at Oxford, John Merbeck who first di- 
gested our present church-service from the notes of the Roman missal, 
Fairfax, Tye, Sheppard, Norman, and others, falling after Forrest's 
death into the possession of doctor William Hether, founder of the 
musical praxis and professorship at Oxford in 1623, are now fortunately 
preserved at Oxford, in the archives of the music-school assigned to 
that institution. 

In the year 1554, a poem of two sheets, in the spirit and stanza of 
Sternhold, was printed under the title, " The VNGODLINESSE OF THE 
HETHNICKE GODDES or The Downfall of Diana of the Ephesians, by 
J. D. an exile for the word, late a minister in London, MDLivV I pre- 
sume it was printed at Geneva, and imported into England with other 
books of the same tendency, and which were afterwards suppressed by 
a proclamation. The writer, whose arguments are as weak as his poetry, 

e MSS. Reg. 17 D. iii. In the Preface brother William printed several romances 

twenty-seven chapters are enumerated; before 1530. 
but the book contains only twenty-four. 8 MSS. Reg. 17 A. xxi. [See also the 

' See supr. vol. ii. p. 259. Not long be- Conventual Library of Westminster in 

fore, Robert Copland, the printer, author Gen. Catal. " Some Psalms in English 

of the Testament of Julien [or Jyllian] of verse, by W. Forest." Cod. MSS. Eccl. 

Brentford, translated from the French and Cath. Westmonas. PARK.] 
printed, " The Secrete of Secretes of Ari- h Wood, Ath. Oxon. i. 124. Fox says, 

stotle, with the governayle of princes and that he paraphrased the Pater Noster in 

euerie manner of estate, with rules of English verse, Pr. " Our Father which in 

health for bodie and soule." Lond. 1528. heaven doth sit." Also the Te Deum, as 

4to. To what I have before said of Ro- a thanksgiving hymn for queen Mary, Pr. 

bert Copland as a poet, may be added, " O God, thy name we magnifie." Fox, 

that he prefixed an English copy of verses Mart. p. 1139. edit. vet. 
to the Mirrour of the Church of saynt * MSS. Le Neve. From a long chapter 

Austine of Abyngdon, &c. Printed by in his Katharine, about the building of 

himself, 1521. 4to. Another to Andrew Christ-church and the regimen of it, he 

Chertsey's Pnssio Domini, ibid. 1521. 4to. appears to have been of that college. 
(See p. 80 of this volume.) He and his k Bl. lett. 12mo. 



attempts to prove, that the customary mode of training youths in the 
Roman poets encouraged idolatry and pagan superstition. This was a 
topic much laboured by the puritans. Prynne, in that chapter of his 
HISTRIOMASTIX, where he exposes "the obscenity, ribaldry, amourous- 
nesse, HEATIIENISHNESSE, and prophanesse of most play-bookes, Arca- 
dias, and fained histories that are now so much in admiration," acquaints 
us, that the infallible leaders of the puritan persuasion in the reign of 
queen Elizabeth, among which are two bishops, have solemnly prohi- 
bited all Christians, " to pen, to print, to sell, to read, or school-masters 
and others to teach, any amorous wanton Play-bookes, Histories, or 
Heathen authors, especially Ovid's wanton Epistles and Bookes of love, 
Catullus, Tibullus, Propertius, Martial], the Comedies of Plautus, Te- 
rence, and other such amorous bookes, savoring either of Pagan Gods> 
Ethnicke rites and ceremonies, of scurrility, amorousnesse, and pro- 
phanesse 1 .'' But the classics were at length condemned by a much 
higher authority. In the year 1582, one Christopher Ocland, a school- 
master of Cheltenham, published two poems in Latin hexameters, one 
entitled ANGLORUM PIUELIA, the other ELIZABETHA. To these 
poems, which are written in a low style of Latin versification, is pre- 
fixed an edict from the lords of privy council, signed, among others, by 
Covvper bishop of Lincoln, Lord Warwick, Lord Leicester, sir Francis 
Knollys, sir Christopher Hatton, and sir Francis Walsingham, and di- 
rected to the queen's ecclesiastical commissioners, containing the fol- 
lowing passage : " Forasmuche as the subject or matter of this booke 
is such, as is worthie to be read of all men, and especially in common 
schooles, where diuers HEATHEN POETS are ordinarily read and taught, 
from which the youth of the realme doth rather receiue infection in 
manners, than aduancement in uertue : in place of some of which poets, 
we thinke this Booke fit to be read and taught in the grammar schooles: 
we haue therefore thought good, for the encouraging the said Ocklande 

1 Pag. 913. 916. nis elegantiam, adiunximus. Londini,'* 
m Londini. Apud Rad. Neubery ex as- &c. Prefixed to the Anglorum Prfflia is 
signatione Henrici Bynneman typography, a Latin elegiac copy by Thomas Newton 
Anno 1582. Cumpriv. 12mo. The whole of Cheshire: to the Elizabetha, which 
title is this, "ANGLORUM PR^ELIA ab is dedicated by the author to the learned 
A.D. 1327, anno nimirum primo inclytis- lady Mildred Burleigh, two more; one by 
simi principis Edwardi eius nominis ter- Richard Muleaster the celebrated master 
tii, u<que ad A.D. 1558, carmine summa- of Merchant-taylors' school, the other by 
tim perstricta. Item De pacatissimo An- Thomas Watson an elegant writer of son- 
g-foe statu, imperante Elizabetha, compen- nets. Our author was a very old man, as 
diosa Narratio. Authore Chrislophoro appears by the last of these copies. Whence r 
Oclando, primo Scholse Southwarkiensis says bishop Hall, Sat. iii. B 4. 
prope Londinum dein Chcltennamensis, Oclande's verse, how they did 
quse sunt a seremssima sua majestate fun- wield 

datse, moderators H*c duapoemata, turn e . T . . T fi |d 

ob argumenti grauitatem, quam carmtms 

facilitatem, nobilissimi regiee majestatis [Newton has a Latin copy of Commend- 

consiliarii in omnibus regni scholis prcele- atory verses before Robbard's Translation 

genda pueris prcescripseruut, Hijs Alex- of Ripley's Compound of Alchymy, 1591. 

andri Neuilli Kettum, turn propter argu- PAIIK.] 
mend similitudinem, turn propter oratio- 


and others that are learned, to bestowe their trauell and studies to so 
good purposes, as also for the benefit of the youth and the removing of 
such lasciuious poets as are commonly read and taught in the saide 
grammar-schooles (the matter of this booke being heroicall and of good 
instruction) to praye and require you vpon the sight hereof, as by our 
special order, to write your letters vnto al the Bishops throughout this 
realme, requiring them to giue commaundement, that in al the gramer 
and free schooles within their seuerall diocesses, the said Booke de AN- 
GLORUM PR^LIIS, and peaceable Gouernment of hir majestic, [the 
ELIZABETHA,] may be in place of some of the heathen poets receyued, 
and publiquely read and taught by the scholemastersV With such 
abundant circumspection and solemnity, did these profound and pious 
politicians, not suspecting that they were acting in opposition to their 
own principles and intentions, exert their endeavours to bring back 
barbarism, and to obstruct the progress of truth and good sense . 

Hollingshead mentions Lucas Shepherd of Colchester, as an eminent 
poet of queen Mary's reign P. I do not pretend to any great talents for 
decyphering ; but I presume, that this is the same person who is called 
by Bale, from a most injudicious affectation of Latinity, Lucas OPILIO, 
Bale affirms, that his cotemporary, Opilio, was a very facetious poet ; 
and means to pay him a still higher compliment in pronouncing him 
not inferior even to Skelton for his rhymes q . It is unlucky, that Bale, 
by disguising his name, should have contributed to conceal this writer 
so long from the notice of posterity, and even to counteract his own 
partiality. Lucas Shepherd, however, appears to have been nothing 
more than a petty pamphleteer in the cause of Calvinism, and to have 
acquired the character of a poet from a metrical translation of some of 
David's Psalms about the year 1554-. Bale's narrow prejudices are well 
known. The puritans never suspected that they were greater bigots 
than the papists. I believe one or two of Shepherd's pieces in prose 
are among bishop Tanner's books at Oxford. 

Bale also mentions metrical English versions of ECCLESIASTES, of 
the histories of ESTHER, SUSANNAH, JUDITH, and of the TESTAMENT 
OF THE TWELVE PATRIARCHS, printed and written about this period, 
by John Pullaine, one of the original students of Christ-church at Ox- 
ford, and at length archdeacon of Colchester. He was chaplain to the 
duchess of Suffolk ; and, either by choice or compulsion, imbibed ideas 
of reformation at Geneva*. I have seen the name of John Pullayne, 
affixed in manuscript to a copy of an anonymous version of Solomon's 
Song, or " Salomon's balads in metre," above mentioned 1 ", in which is 
this stanza . 

n Signal. A. ij. Then follows an order See p. 19 of this volume, 
from the ecclesiastical commissioners to all p Chron. vol. iii. p. 1 168. 
the bishops for this purpose. [Signed John q Par. post. p. 109. 
London, Da.Lewes, Bar. Clerke,W.Lewyn, * Bale ix. 83. Wood, Ath. Oxon. i. 148. 
Owen Hopton, W. Fletewoode, Pet. Os- r " Imprinted at London by William 
borne, Tho. Fanshaw; and dated from Lon- Baldwine servaunt with Edwarde Whit- 
don, the seventh of May, 1582. PARK.] church." Nor date, nor place. Cum pri- 


She is sd young in Christes truth, 

That yet she hath no teates ; 
She wanteth brestes, to feed her youth 

With sound and perfect meates 5 . 

There were numerous versions of Solomon's SONG before the year 
1600 ; and perhaps no portion of scripture was selected with more pro- 
priety to be clothed in verse. Beside those I have mentioned, there is, 
" The SONG OF SONGS, that is the most excellent Song which was So- 
lomon's, translated out of the Hebrue into Englishe meater with as little 
libertie in departing from the wordes as anie plaine translation in prose 
can vse, and interpreted by a short commentarie." For Richard Schil- 
ders, printer to the states of Zealand, I suppose at Middleburg, 1587, 
in duodecimo. Nor have I yet mentioned Solomon's Song, translated 
from English prose into English verse by Robert Fletcher*, a native of 
Warwickshire, and a member of Merton college, printed at London, 
with notes, in 1586*. The CANTICLES in English verse are among the 
lost poems of Spenser". Bishop Hall, in his nervous and elegant satires 
printed in 1597, meaning to ridicule and expose the spiritual poetry 
with which his age was overwhelmed, has an allusion to a metrical Eng- 
lish version of Solomon's Song w . Having mentioned SAINT PETER'S 

vileg. 4to. This William Baldwine is per- 
haps Baldwin the poet, the contributor to 
the Mirrour for Magistrates. At least that 
the poet Baldwin was connected with 
Whitchurch the printer, appears from a 
book printed by Whitchurch, quoted above, 
"A treatise of moral philosophic con- 
taygning the Sayings of the Wise, gathered 
and Englyshed by Wylliam Baldwyn, 20 
of January, MDXLVII." Compositors at 
this time often were learned men ; and 
Baldwin was perhaps occasionally em- 
ployed by Whitchurch both as a compo- 
sitor and an author. 

* Signat. m. iij. 

* [To this writer must probably be at- 
tributed a thin quarto of prose and verse 
published in 1C06, containing brief histo- 
rical registers of our regal Henries, and 
entitled " The Nine English Worthies ; 
or the famous and worthy princes of Eng- 
land being all of one name," &c. PARK.] 

1 in duodecimo. 

u A metrical commentary was written 
on the Canticles by one Dudley Fenner, 
a puritan, who retired to Middleburg to 
enjoy the privilege and felicity of preach- 
ing endless sermons without molestation. 
Middleb. 1587. 8vo. 

[Fenner's work is entitled " The Song 
of Songs," &c. as Mr. Warton has fully 
displayed in his text, without being aware 

to whom the title appertained. Yet the 
name of Dudley Fenner is subscribed to 
the Dedication. PARK.] 

w B. i. Sat. viii. But for this abuse of 
the divine sonnetters, Marston not inele- 
gantly retorts against Hall. Certayne 
Satyres, Lond. for E. Matts, 1598. 12mo. 
Sat. iv. 

Come daunce, ye stumbling Satyres, by 

his side, 

If he list once the SYON MUSE deride. 
Ye Granta's white Nymphs come, and 

with you bring 
Some sillabub, whilst he does sweetly 

Gainst Peters Teares, and Maries mouing 

Moane ; 
And like a fierce-enraged boare doth 


At Sacred Sonnets, O daring hardiment ! 
At Bartas sweet Semaines 1 raile impu- 
At Hopkins, Sternhold, and the Scottish 


At all Translators that do striue to bring 
That stranger language to our vulgar 

tongue," &c. 

[Meres, in his Wit's Treasury, speaks 
of " Saloman's Canticles in English verse," 
by Jervis Markham ; but without praise or 
censure. PARK.] 

1 Du Bartas's Divine Weeks. 


COMPLAINT, written by Robert Southwell, and printed in 1595, with 
some other religious effusions of that author, he adds, 

Yea, and the prophet of the heavenly lyre, 
Great Solomon, singes in the English quire ; 
And is become a new-found Sonnetist, 
Singing his love, the holie spouse of Christ, 
Like as she were some light-skirts of the rest x , 
In mightiest inkhornismes* he can thither wrest. 
Ye Sion Muses shall by my dear will, 
For this your zeal and far-admired skill, 
Be straight transported from Jerusalem, 
Unto the holy house of Bethlehem. 

It is not to any of the versions of the CANTICLES which I have hi- 
therto mentioned, that Hall here alludes. His censure is levelled at 
" The Poem of Poems, or SIGN'S MUSE. Contaynyng the diuine Song 
of King Salomon deuided into eight Eclogues. Bramo assai, poco 
spero, nulla chieggio. At London, printed by James Roberts for Ma- 
thew Lownes, and are to be solde at his shop in saint Dunstones church- 
yarde, 1596 y ." The author signs his dedication!, which is addressed 
to the sacred virgin, diuine mistress Elizabeth Sydney, sole daughter 
of the euer admired sir Philip Sydney, with the initials J. M. These 
initials, which are subscribed to many pieces in ENGLAND'S HELICON, 
signify Jarvis, or larvis, Markham 2 . 

Although the translation of the scriptures into English rhyme was for 
the most part an exercise of the enlightened puritans, the recent publi- 
cation of Sternhold's psalms taught that mode of writing to many of the 
papists, after the sudden revival of the mass under queen Mary. One 
Richard Beearde, parson of saint Mary-hill in London, celebrated the 
accession of that queen in a godly psalm printed in 1 553 a . Much 

x Origen and Jerom say, that the youth the study of inchaunting poesie ; till, at 

of the Jews were not permitted to read length he betooke himself to Divinitie, 

Solomon's Song till they were thirty and found Poesie, which he had so much 

years of age, for fear they should inflame reverenced, created but her handmaid : for 

their passions by drawing the spiritual al- as Poesie gave grace to vulgar subjects, so 

legory into a carnal sense. Orig. Homil. Divinitie gave glorie to the best part of a 

in Cantic. Cant, apud Hieronymi Opp. poet's invention," &c. PARK.] 

Tom. viii. p. 122. And Opp. Origen. ii. z Some of the prefatory Sonnets to Jar- 

fol. 68. Hieron. Proem, in Ezech. iv. p. vis Markham's poem, entitled, " The most 

330. D. honorable Tragedie of sir Richard Grinuile 

* [This term is lauded by Pinkerton, knight," (At London, printed by J. Ro- 

in his " Letters of Literature," p. 80, as a berts for Richard Smith, 1595. 16mo.) are 

phrase of much felicity; but it was not signed J. M. But the dedication, to Charles 

Hall's coinage. See Wilson's Rhetorike, lord Montioy, has his name at length. 

1553, fol. 82. PARK.] a In duodecimo, viz. 

y IGmo. A godly psalm of Mary queen, which 

t [In this dedication Markham can- brought us comfort all, 
didly and conscientiously tells his readers, Thro God whom we of deut y P raise that 
that " rapt in admiration with the excel- 
lency of our English poets, whose wandred With psalm-tunes in four parts. See 
spirits have made wonderfull the workes Strype's Eliz. p. 202. Newc. Rep. i. 451. 
of prophane love, he gave himsclfe over to See what is said above of Miles Hoggard. 


about the same time, George Marshall wrote A compendious treatise in 
metre, declaring the first original of sacrifice and of building churches 
and aultars, and of the first receiving the cristen faith here in England, 
dedicated to George Wharton, esquire, and printed at London in 

In 1556, Miles Hoggard, a famous butt of the protestants, published 
" A shorte treatise in meter vpon the cxxix psalme of David called De 
profundis. Compiled and set forth by Miles Huggarde servante to the 
quenes maiestie c ." Of the opposite or heretical persuasion was Peter 
Moone, who wrote a metrical tract on the abuses of the mass, printed 
by John Oswen at Ipswich, about the first year of queen Mary d . Near 
the same period, a translation of ECCLESIASTES into rhyme by Oliver 
Starkey occurs in bishop Tanner's library*, if I recollect right, together 
with his Translation of Sallust's two histories. By the way, there was 
another vernacular versification of ECCLESIASTES by Henry Lok, or 
Lock, of whom more will be said hereafter, printed in 1597. This 
book was also translated into Latin hexameters by Drant, who will oc- 
cur again in 1572. The ECCLESIASTES was versified in English by 
Spenser f. 

I have before mentioned the SCHOOL-HOUSE OF WOMEN, a satire 
against the fair sex e . This was answered by Edward More of Ham- 
bledon in Buckinghamshire, about the year 1557, before he was twenty 
years of age. It required no very powerful abilities either of genius or 
judgment to confute such a groundless and malignant invective. More's 
book is entitled, The DEFENCE OF WOMEN, especially English women, 
against a book intituled the SCHOOL-HOUSE OF WOMEN. It is dedicated 
to Master William Page, secretary to his neighbour and patron sir Ed- 
ward Hoby of Bisham-abbey, and was printed at London in 1560. f 

b In quarto, bl. lett. has preserved some hymns in Sternhold's 

In quarto, bl. lett. for R. Caley. Jan. metre sung by the protestant martyrs in 

4. with Grafton's copartment. Newgate, in 1555. Mart. fol. 1539. edit. 

d A short treatise of certayne thinges 15 ^ 7 ;J T o1 ' "* . 

abused [Warton is most probably mistaken, 

In the popish church long used; as Tanner who merely follows Bale and 

But now abolyshed to our consolation, Pltl f> do f not a PP ear to have seen [ thw ] 

And God's word advanced, the light book -RiTSON.] 

of our salvation. , t [Surrey s version of five chapters 

from the Ecclesiastes, has been noticed at 

In eight leaves, quarto, bl. lett. Fox p. 40 of this volume. PARK.] 

mentions one William Punt, author of a e Supr. p. 128. 

ballade made against the Pope and Popery f In quarto. Princip. 

under Edward the Sixth, and of other Venug thee for h d Lad 

tracts ot the same tendency under queen , , . 11 " 
Mary. Martyr, p. 1605. edit. vet. Punt's 

printer was William Hyll at the sign of Our author, if I remember right, has fur- 

the hill near the west door of saint Paul's. nished some arguments to one William 

See in Strype, an account of Underbill's Heale of Exeter college ; who wrote, in 

Sufferings in 1553, for writing a ballad 1609, An Apology for Woman, in oppo- 

against the queen, he " being a witty and sition to Dr. Gager, above-mentioned, who 

facetious gentleman." Eccl. Mem. iii. 60, had maintained at the Public Act, that it Many rhymes and ballads were was lawful for husbands to beat their 

written against the Spanish match, in wives. Wood says, that Heale " was al- 

1554. Strype, ibid. p. 127. ch. xiv. Fox ways esteemed an ingenious man, but 


With the catholic liturgy, all the pageantries of popery were restored 
to their ancient splendour by queen Mary. Among others, the proces- 
sion of the boy- bishop was too popular a mummery to be forgotten. In 
the preceding reign of king Edward the Sixth, Hugh Rhodes, a gentle- 
man or musician of the royal chapel, published an English poem with 
the title, THE BOKE OF NURTUR for men seruants and children, or of 
the gouernaunce of youth, with STANS PUER AD MENSAM&. In the fol- 
lowing reign of Mary, the same poet printed a poem consisting of thirty- 
six octave stanzas, entitled, " The SONG of the CHYLD-BYSSHOP, as it 
was songe h before the queenes maiestie in her priuie chamber at her 
manour of saynt James in the ffeeldes on saynt Nicholas day and Inno- 
cents day this yeare nowe present, by the chylde bysshope of Poules 
churche* with his company. LONDINI, in aedibus Johannis Cawood 
typographi reginse, 1555. Cum privilegio," &c. k By admitting this 
spectacle into her presence, it appears that her majesty's bigotry con- 
descended to give countenance to the most ridiculous and unmeaning 
ceremony of the Roman ritual. As to the song itself, it is a fulsome 
panegyric on the queen's devotion, in which she is compared to Judith, 
Esther, the queen of Sheba, and the virgin Mary 1 . This show of the 
boy-bishop, not so much for its superstition as its levity and absurdity, 
had been formally abrogated by king Henry the Eighth, fourteen years 
before, in the year 154<2, as appears by a "Proclamation devised by 
the King's Majesty by the advys of his Highness Counsel the xxii day 

weak, as being too much devoted to the in pontificalibus, went abroad in most parts 

female sex." Ath. Oxon. i. 314. of London, singing after the old fashion, 

g In quarto, [small 8vo.] Bl. lett. Pr. and was received with many ignorant but 

Prol. " There is few things to be under- well-disposed people into their houses ; 

stood." The poem begins, " Alle ye that and had as much good cheer as ever was 

wolde learn and wolde be called wyse." wont to be had before." Eccl. Mem. iii. 

[As this book is said to be newly corrected, 310. ch. xxxix. See also p. 387. ch. 1. 

Mr. Ritson infers " there must have been I" 1554, Nov. 13, an edict was issued by 

an earlier edition." PRICE.] the bishop of London to all the clergy of 

* In the church of York, no chorister his dioce * e > to have a boy-bishop in pro- 
was to be elected boy-bishop, nisi ha- ' essi n > &c ' Str > T P e > lbld ' P- 202 ' ch - xxv - 
buerit claram vocem puerilem." Registr. See also P' 205 ' 206 ' ch ' xxv1 ' 
Capitul. Eccles. Ebor. sub ann. 1390. MS. ] I n a poem by Llodowyke Lloyd, in 
ut supr. the Paradise of Daintie Denises, (edit. 

In the old statutes of saint Pauls, are i 585 ') on the d . eath ^ sir Edward Saun- 

many orders about this mock-solemnity. ders ' ^ ueen Ehzabet h is complimented 

One i ? , that the canon, called STAGIARIUS, m . uch in _ I he same lnann er. Num. 38. 

shall find the boy-bishop his robes, and bl g nat . E. 2. 

" equitatum honestum." MS. fol. 86. Di- sacred seate, where Saba sage 
ceto dean. In the statutes of Salisbury d th sit, 

cathedral, it is ordered, that the boy-bishop Like Susan sound,Jike Sara sad, with 
shall not make a feast, " sed in domo com- Hester's mace in hand, 

muni cum sociis conversetur, nisi eurn ut With sword, Bellona-like, to rule 
Choristam, ad domnm Canonici, causa this noble land, 

solatii, ad mensam contigerit evocuri." [See specimens of the same , 

Sub anno 1319. Tit. xlv. De Statu Cho- adulation in Habe's Commemoration of 

the Raigne of Q. Elizabeth (Harl. Misc. 

fc In quarto, bl. lett. Strype says, that ix. 129.) and Mr. Nichols's display of her 

in 1556, "On S. Nicolas even, Saint Ni- Progresses and Processions passim. 

colas, that is a boy habited like a bishop PARK.] 




of Julie, 33 Hen. viij, commanding the ffeasts of saint Luke, saint Mark, 
saint Marie Magdalene, Inuention of the Crosse, and saint Laurence, 
which had been abrogated, should be nowe againe celebrated and kept 
holie days," of which the following is the concluding clause : " And 
where as heretofore dyuers and many superstitious and chyldysh ob- 
seruances have be vsed, and yet to this day are obserued and kept, in 
many and sundry partes of this realm, as vpon saint Nicholas 111 , saint 
Catharine", saint Clement , the holie Innocents, and such like?, Chil- 
dren [boys] be strangelie decked and apparayled, to counterfeit Priestes, 
Bisshoppes, and Women, and so be ledde with Songes and Dances from 

m In Barnabie Googe's Popish King- 
dom, a translation from Naogeorgius's 
Regnum Antichristi, fol. 55. Lond. 1570. 
Saint Nicholas monie vsde to give to 

maydens secretlie, 
Who that be still may vse his wonted li- 

beralitie : 
The mother all their children on the Eeve 

do cause to fast, 
And when they euerie one at night in 

senselesse sleepe are cast, 
Both apples, nuts and payres they bring, 

and other thinges beside, 
As cappes, and shoes, and petticoates, 

which secretly they hide, 
And in the morning found, they say, that 

"this Saint Nicholas brought," &c. 

See a curious passage in bishop Fisher's 
Sermon of the Months Minde of Margaret 
countess of Richmond ; where it is said, 
that she praied to S. Nicholas the patron 
and helper of all true maydens, when nine 
years old, about the choice of a husband ; 
and that the saint appeared in a vision, 
and announced the earl of Richmond. 
Edit. Baker, p. 8. There is a precept 
issued to the sheriff of Oxford from Ed- 
ward the First, in 1305, to prohibit tour- 
naments being intermixed with the sports 
of the scholars on saint Nicholas's day. 
Rot. Claus. 33 Edw. I. memb. 2. 

I have already given traces of this prac- 
tice in the colleges of Winchester and 
Eton, [see supr. vol. ii. p. 532.] To 
which I here add another. Registr. Coll. 
Wint. sub ann. 1427. "Crux deaurata 
de cupro [copper] cum Baculo, pro EPI- 
SCOPO PUERORUM." But it appears that 
the practice subsisted in common gram- 
mar-schools. " Hoc anno, 1464, in festo 
sancti Nicolai non erat EPISCOPUS PUE- 
K.ORUM in schola grammatical! in civitate 
Cantuariae ex defectu Magistrorum, viz. 
J. Sidney et T. Hikson," &c. Lib. Jo- 
hannis Stone, Monachi Eccles. Cant. sc. 
De Obitibus et aliis Memorabilibus sui 
cccnobii ab anno 1415 ad annum 1467. 
MS. C. C. C. C. Q. 8. The abuses of this 

custom in Wells cathedral are mentioned 
so early as Decemb. 1, 1298. Registr. 
Eccl. Wellens. [See supr. vol. ii. pp. 30. 
521. 531.] 

" The reader will recollect the old play 
of saint Catharine, Ludus Catharines, ex- 
hibited at saint Albans abbey in 1160. 
Strype says, in 1556, " On Saint Catha- 
rines day, at six of the clock at night, S. 
Katharine went about the battlements of 
S. Paul's church accompanied with fine 
singing and great lights. This was saint 
Katharine's Procession." Eccl. Mem. iii. 
309. ch. xxxix. Again, her procession, 
in 1553, is celebrated with five hundred 
great lights, round saint Paul's steeple, &c. 
Ibid. p. 51. ch. v. and p. 57. ch. v. 

Among the church-processions re- 
vived by Queen Mary, that of S. Clement's 
church, in honour of this saint, was by far 
the most splendid of any in London. Their 
procession to Saint Paul's in 1557, "was 
made very pompous with fourscore ban- 
ners and streamers, and the waits of the 
city playing, and threescore priests and 
clarkes in copes. And divers of the Inns 
of Court were there, who went next the 
priests," &c. Strype, ubi supr. iii. 337. ch. 

p In the Synodus Carnotensis, under 
the year 1526, It is ordered, "In festo 
sancti Nicholai, Catharinse, Innocentium, 
aut alio quovis die, prsetextu recreation is, 
ne Scholastic?, Clerici, Sacerdotesve, stul- 
tum aliquod aut ridiculum faciant in ec- 
clesia. Denique ab ecclesia ejiciantur 
agentium." See Bochellus, Decret. Ec- 
cles. Gall. lib. iv. Tit. vii. C. 43. 44. 46. 
p. 586. Yet these sports seem to have 
remained in France so late as 1585 ; for 
in the Synod of Aix, 1585, it is enjoined, 
" Cessent in die Sanctorum Innocentium 
ludibria omnia et pueriles ac theatrales 
lusns." Bochell. ibid. C. 45. p. 586. A 
Synod of Tholouse, an. 15QO, removes 
plays, spectacles, and histrionum circula- 
tiones, from churches and their cemeteries. 
Bochell. ibid. lib. iv. Tit. 1. C. 98. p. 560. 


house to house, blessing the people, and gathering of money ; and Boyes 
do singe masse, and preache in the pulpitt, with such other vnfittinge 
and inconuenient vsages, rather to the derysyon than anie true glorie 
of God, or honor of his sayntes : The Kynges maiestie therefore, mynd- 
inge nothinge so moche as to aduance the true glory of God without vain 
superstition, wylleth and commandeth, that from henceforth all such sv- 
perstitious obseruations be left and clerely extinguished tlirowout all this 
his realme and dominions, for-as-moche as the same doth resemble rather 
the vnlawfull superstition of gentilitie, than the pvre and sincere religion 
of Christe." With respect to the disguisings of these young fraternities, 
and their processions from house to house with singing and dancing, 
specified in this edict, in a very mutilated fragment of a COMPUTUS, or 
annual Accompt-roll, of saint Swithin's cathedral Priory at Winchester, 
under the year 1441, a disbursement is made to the singing-boys of 
the monastery, who, together with the choristers of saint Elizabeth's 
collegiate chapel near that city, were dressed up like girls, and exhi- 
bited their sports before the abbess and nuns of saint Mary's abbey at 
Winchester, in the public refectory of that convent, on Innocent's day^. 
" Pro Pueris Eleemosynaries una cum Pueris Capellae sanctae Eliza- 
bethae, ornatis more puellarum, et saltantibus, cantantibus, et ludenti- 
bus, coram domina Abbatissa et monialibus Abbathiae beatae Mariaa 
virginis, in aula ibidem in die sanctorum Innocentium r ." And again, 
in a fragment of an Accompt of the Celerar of Hyde Abbey at Win- 
chester, under the year 1490. " In larvis et aliis indurnentis Puero- 
rum visentium Dominum apud Wulsey, et Constabularium Castri 
Winton, in apparatu suo, necrion subintrantium omnia monasteria civi- 
tatis Winton, in ffesto sancti Nicholai 8 ." That is, " In furnishing 
masks and dresses for the boys of the convent, when they visited the 
bishop at Wulvesey-palace, the constable of Winchester-castle, and all 
the monasteries of the city of Winchester, on the festival of saint 
Nicholas." As to the divine service being performed by children on 

q In the Register of Wodeloke bishop which is to this effect : " We have been 
of Winchester, the following is an article informed that certain Actors of Comedies, 
among the Injunctions given to the nuns not contented with the stage and theatres, 
of the convent of Rumsey in Hampshire, have even entered the nunneries, in order 
in consequence of an episcopal visitation, to recreate the nuns, ubi virginibus corn- 
under the year 1310. " Item prohi- moveant voluptatem, with their profane, 
bemus,ne cubent in dormitorio pueri mas- amorous, and secular gesticulations. Which 
culi cum monialibus, vel foemellae, nee spectacles, or plays, although they con- 
per moniales ducantur in Chorum, dum sisted of sacred and pious subjects, can yet 
ibidem divinum officium celebratur." fol. notwithstanding leave little good, but on 
134. In the same Register these Injunc- the contrary much harm, in the minds of 
tions follow in a literal French transla- the nuns, who behold and admire the out- 
tion, made for the convenience of the ward gestures of the performers, and 
nuns. understand not the words. Therefore we 
r MS. in Archiv. Wulves. apud Winton. decree, that henceforward no Plays, Co- 
It appears to have been a practice for medias, shall be admitted into the convents 
itinerant players to gain admittance into of nuns," &c. Sur. Concil. tom.iv. p. 852. 
the nunneries, and to play Latin Mysteries Binius, torn. iv. p. 765. 
before the nuns. There is a curious 8 MS. Ibid. See supr. p. 251. 
Canon of the Council of Cologne ; in 1549, 


these feasts, it was not only celebrated by boys, but there is an injunc- 
tion given to the Benedictine nunnery of Godstowe in Oxfordshire, by 
archbishop Peckham, in the year 1278, that on Innocent's day, the 
public prayers should not any more be said in the church of that 
monastery PER PARVULAS, that is, by little girls*. 

The ground-work of this religious mockery of the boy-bishop, which 
is evidently founded on modes of barbarous life, may perhaps be traced 
backward at least as far as the year 867 u . At the Constantinopolitan 
synod under that year, at which were present three hundred and se- 
venty-three bishops, it was found to be a solemn custom in the courts 
of princes, on certain stated days, to dress some layman in the epi- 
scopal apparel, who should exactly personate a bishop both in his ton- 
sure and ornaments ; as also to create a burlesque patriarch, who might 
make sport for the company w . This scandal to the clergy was anathe- 
matised. But ecclesiastical synods and censures have often proved too 
weak to suppress popular spectacles, which take deep root in the public 
manners, and are only concealed for awhile, to spring up afresh with 
new vigour. 

After the form of a legitimate stage had appeared in England, MY- 
STERIES and MIRACLES were also revived by queen Mary, as an append- 
age of the papistic worship. 

En, iterum crudelia retro 

Fata vocant x ! 

In the year 1556, a goodly stage-play of the PASSION OF CHRIST 
was presented at the Grey-friers in London, on Corpus-Christi day, 
before the lord mayor, the privy-council, and many great estates of the 
realm y. Strype also mentions, under the year 1557, a stage-play at 
the Grey-friers, of the Passion of Christ, on the day that war was pro- 
claimed in London against France, and in honour of that occasion 2 . 
On saint Olave's day in the same year, the holiday of the church in 
Silver-street which is dedicated to that saint, was kept with much so- 
lemnity. At eight of the clock at night, began a stage-play, of goodly 

* Harpsfield, Hist. Eccl. Angl. p. 441. hand, &c. and the explanation was de- 
edit. 1622. [See vol. ii. p. 508. et seqq.J rived from a chapter in the ancient sta- 

u Or 870. [See Mr. Strutt's Sports tutes of that church entitled De Episcopo 

and Pastimes of the People of England. Choristarum. See a long account of the 

PRICE.] Boy Bishop, in Hawkins's History of 

[A tract explaining the origin and ce- Music, vol. ii. PARK.] 

remonial of the Boy-bishop was printed w Surius, Concii.iii. 529. 5t39. Baron, 

in 1649 with the following title : " Epi- Ahnal. Ann. 869. 11. See Concil. 

scopus puerorum in die Innocentium ; or Basil, num. xxxii. The French have a 

a Discoverie of an ancient Custom in miracle-play, BeauMiracle de S.Nicolas, 

the church of Sarum, making an anni- to be acted by twenty-four personages, 

versarie Bishop among the Choristers." printed at Paris, for Pierre Sergeant, in 

This tract was written in explanation of quarto, without date, bl. lett. 

a stone monument still remaining in x Virgil, Georg. iv. 495. 

Salisbury-cathedral, representing a little y MSS. Cott. Vitell. E. 5. Strype. See 

boy habited in episcopal robes, with a Life of Sir Thomas Pope, Pref. p. xii. 

mitre upon his head, a crosier in his z Eccl. Mem. vol. iii. ch. xlix. 


matter ', being the miraculous history of the life of that saint a , which 
continued four hours, and was concluded with many religious songs. b 

Many curious circumstances of the nature of these miracle-plays, 
appear in a roll of the churchwardens of Bassingborne in Cambridge- 
shire, which is an accompt of the expenses and receptions for acting 
the play of SAINT GEORGE at Bassingborne, on the feast of saint Mar- 
garet in the year 1511. They collected upwards of four pounds in 
twenty-seven neighbouring parishes for furnishing the play. They 
disbursed about two pounds in the representation. These disburse- 
ments are to four minstrels, or waits, of Cambridge for three days, vs. 
vj d. To the players, in bread, and ale, iij s. ij d. To the garnement- 
man for garnements, and propyrts c , that is, for dresses, decorations, 
and implements, and for play-books, xxs. To John Hobard brother- 
hoode preeste, that is, a priest of the guild in the church, for the play- 
book, ijs. viije?. For the crofte, or field in which the play was exhi- 
bited js. For propyrte-making, or furniture, js. \vd. "For fish 
and bread, and to setting up the stages, ivd." For painting three 
fanchoms and four tormentors, words which I do not understand, but 
perhaps phantoms and devils . . . The rest was expended for a feast on 
the occasion, in which are recited, " Four chicken for the gentilmen, 
ivd" It appears from the manuscript of the Coventry plays, that a 
temporary scaffold only was erected for these performances. And 
Chaucer says, of Absolon, a parish-clerk, and an actor of king Herod's 
character in these dramas, in the MILLER'S TALE, 

And for to shew his lightnesse and maistry 
He playith Herawdes on a SCAFFALD HiE d . 

a Strype, ibid. p. 379. With the re- old scenery was very simple, may partly 
ligious pageantries, other ancient sports be collected from an entry in a Computus 
and spectacles also, which had fallen into of Winchester-college, under the year 
disuse in the reign of Edward the Sixth, 1579. viz. Comp. Burs. Coll. Winton. 
began to be now revived. As thus, " On A. D. 1573. Eliz. xv. " GUSTOS Au- 
the 30th of May was a goodly May-game LJE. Item, pro diversis expensis circa 
in Fenchurch-street, with drums, and Scaffoldam erigendam et deponendam, 
guns, and pikes, with the NiNEWoRTHiES et pro Domunculis de novo compositis 
who rid. And each made his speech. cum carriagio et recarriagio ly joystes, et 
There was also the Morice-dance, and aliorum mutuatorum ad eandem Scaf- 
an elephant and castle, and the Lord and foldam, cum vj linckes et j [uno] duo- 
Lady of the May appeared to make up deno candelarum, pro lumine expensis, 
this show." Strype, ibid. 376. ch. xlix. tribus noctibus in Ludis comediarum et 

b Ludovicus Vives relates, that it was tragediarum, xxv *. viijrf." Again, in 
customary in Brabant to present annual the next quarter, " Pro vij /.y linckes de- 
plays in honour of the respective saints liberatis pueris per M. Informatorem [the 
to which the churches were dedicated; school-master] pro Ludis, iijs." Again, 
and he betrays his great credulity in add- in the last quarter, " Pro removendis Or- 
ing a wonderful story in consequence of ganis e templo in Aulam et praeparandis 
tbis custom. Not. in Augustin. De Civit. eisdem erga Ludos, vs." By UOMUN- 
>ei, lib.xii. cap. 25. C. CULIS I understand little cells of board, 

The property-room is yet known at raised on each side of the stage, for dress- 

our theatres. ing-rooms, or retiring places. Strype, 

A Mill. T. v. 275. Urr. Mr. Steevens under the year 1559, says, that after a 

and Mr. Malone have shown, that the grand feast at Guildhall, " the same day 

accommodations in our early regular was a scaffold set up in the hall for a play." 

theatres were but little better. That the Ann, Ref. i. 197. edit. 1725. 


Scenical decorations and machinery* which employed the genius 
and invention of Inigo Jones, in the reigns of the first James and 
Charles, seem to have migrated from the masques at court to the pub- 
lic theatre. In the instrument here cited, the priest who wrote the 
play, and received only two shillings and eight pence for his labour, 
seems to have been worse paid in proportion than any of the other 
persons concerned. The learned Oporinus, in 1547, published in two 
volumes a collection of religious interludes, which abounded in Ger- 
many. They are in Latin, and not taken from Legends, but the Bible. 

The puritans were highly offended at these religious plays now re- 
vived 6 . But they were hardly less averse to the theatrical representa- 
tion of the Christian than of the gentile story ; yet for different reasons. 
To hate a theatre was a part of their creed, and therefore plays were 
an improper vehicle of religion. The heathen fables they judged to 
be dangerous, as too nearly resembling the superstitions of poperyf. 

* [Dr. Ashby suggests that some di- 
stinction should perhaps be made be- 
tween scenery and machinery : and it 
may probably be ceded that scenic de- 
coration was first introduced. PARK.] 

e A very late scripture-play is " A 
newe merry and witte comedie or enter- 
lude, newlie imprinted treating the hi- 
story of Jacob and Esau," &c. for H. Byn- 
neman, 1568. 4to. bl. lett. But this play 
had appeared in queen Mary's reign, 
" An enterlude vpon the history of Jacobe 
and Esawe," &c. Licensed to Henry 
Sutton, in 1557. Registr. Station. A. fol. 
23 a. It is certain, however, that the 
fashion of religious interludes was not en- 
tirely discontinued in the reign of queen 
Elizabeth ; for I find licensed to T. 
Hackett in 1561, " A newe enterlude of 
the ij synnes of kynge Dauyde." Ibid, 
fol. 75 a. And to Pickeringe in 1560-1, 
the play of queen Esther. Ibid. fol. 62 b. 
Again, there is licensed to T. Colwell, in 
1565, " A playe of the story of kyng Da- 
rius from Esdras." Ibid. fol. 133 b. Also, 
" A pleasaunte recytall worthy of the 
readinge contaynyge the effecte of iij 
worthye squyres of Daryus the kinge of 
Persia," licensed to Griffiths in 1565. 
Ibid. fol. 132 b. Often reprinted. And 
in 1566, John Cbarlewood is licensed to 
print " An enterlude of the repentance of 
Mary Magdalen." Ibid. fol. 152 a. Of 
this piece I have cited an ancient manu- 
script. Also, not to multiply instances, 
Colwell in 1568 is licensed to print "The 
playe of Susanna." Ibid. fol. 176 a. Bal- 
lads on scripture subjects are now innu- 

merable. Peele's David and Bathsheba 
is a remain of the fashion of scripture- 
plays. I have mentioned the play of Ho- 
lofernes acted at Hatfiebi in 1556. Life 
of Sir Thomas Pope, p. 87. In 1556, was 
printed " A ballet intituled the historye of 
Judith and Holyfernes." Registr. ut 
supr. fol. 154 b. And Registr. B. fol. 
227. In Hearne's Manuscript Collectanea 
there is a licence dated 1571, from the 
queen, directed to the officers of Mid- 
dlesex, permitting one John Swinton 
Powlter, " to have and use some playes 
and games at or uppon nine severall son- 
daies," within the said county. And be- 
cause greate resorte of people is lyke to 
come thereunto, he is required, for the , 
preservation of the peace, and for the 
sake of good order, to take with him four 
or five discreet and substantial men of 
those places where the games shall be put 
in practice, to superintend duringe the 
contynuance of the games or playes. Some 
of the exhibitions are then specified, such 
as Shotinge with the brode arrowe, The 
lepping for men, The pitchynge of the 
barre, and the like. But then follows 
this very general clause, " With all suche 
other games, as haue at anye time here- 
tofore or now be lycensed, used, or play- 
ed." Coll. MSS. Hearne, torn. Ixi. p. 78. 
One wishes to know, whether any inter- 
ludes, and whether religious or profane, 
were included in this instrument. 

f [Opposite sects, as Romanists and pro- 
testants, often adopt each other's argu- 
ments. See Bayle's Diet. ASHBY.] 



English Language begins to be cultivated. Earliest book of Criticism 
in English. Examined. Soon followed by others. Early critical 
systems of the French and Italians. New and superb editions of 
Gower and Lydgate. Chaucer s monument erected in Westminster 
Abbey. Chaucer esteemed by the Reformers. 

IT appears, however, that the cultivation of an English style began to 
be now regarded. At the general restoration of knowledge and taste, 
it was a great impediment to the progress of our language, that all the 
learned and ingenious, aiming at the character of erudition, wrote in 
Latin. English books were written only by the superficial and illite- 
rate, at a time when judgement and genius should have been exerted 
in the nice and critical task of polishing a rude speech. Long after 
the invention of typography, our vernacular style, instead of being 
strengthened and refined by numerous compositions, was only Cor- 
rupted with new barbarisms and affectations, for want of able and judi- 
cious writers in English. Unless we except sir Thomas More, whose 
were esteemed standards of style so low as the reign of James the 
First, Roger Ascham was perhaps the first of our scholars who ven- 
tured to break the shackles of Latinity, by publishing his TOXOPHILUS 
in English ; chiefly with a view of giving a pure and correct model of 
English composition, or rather of showing how a subject might be 
treated with grace and propriety in English as well as in Latin. His 
own vindication of his conduct in attempting this great innovation is 
too sensible to be omitted, and reflects light on the revolutions of our 
poetry. " As for the Lattine or Greeke tongue, euerye thinge is so ex- 
cellentlye done in Them, that none can do better. In the Englishe 
tongue contrary, euery thing in a maner so meanlye, both for the mat- 
ter and handelinge, that no man can do worse. For therein the learned 
for the most part haue bene alwayes most redye to write. And they 
which had least hope in Lattine haue bene most bould in Englishe : 
when surelye euerye man that is most ready to talke, is not most able 
to write. He that will write well in any tongue, must folow this coun- 
sell of Aristotle ; to speake as the common people do, to thinke as wise 
men do. And so shoulde euerye man vnderstand him, and the Judge- 
ment of wise men allowe him. Manye Englishe writers haue not done 
so; but vsinge straunge wordes, as Lattine, French, and Italian, do make 
all thinges darke and harde. Ones I communed with a man, which 
reasoned the Englishe tongue to be enriched and encreased thereby, 
sayinge, Who will not prayse that feast where a man shall drincke at a 
dinner both wyne, ale, and beere ? Truly, quoth I, they be al good, 


euery one taken by liimselfe alone ; but if you put Malmesye and sacke, 
redde wyne and white, ale and beere, and al in one pot, you shall make 
a drinke neither easye to be knovven, nor yet holsome for the bodye. 
Cicero in folowing Isocrates, Plato, and Demosthenes, encreased the 
Lattirie tongue after another sort. This way, because diuers men that 
write do not know, they can neyther folow it because of their igno- 
raunce, nor yet will prayse it for uery arrogancy : two faultes seldome 
the one out of the others companye. Englishe writers by diuersitie of 
tyme haue taken diuers matters in hand. In our fathers time nothing 
was red but bookes of fayned cheualrie, wherein a man by readinge 
should be led to none other ende but only to manslaughter and bau- 
drye. If anye man suppose they were good enough to passe the time 
withall, he is deceiued. For surely vaine wordes do worke no smal 
thinge in vaine, ignorant, and yong mindes, specially if they be geuen 
any thing thervnto of their owne nature. These bookes, as I haue 
heard say, were made the most part in abbayes and monasteries, a very 
likely and fit fruite of such an ydle and blind kind of liuing a . In our 
time now, when euery man is geuen to know much rather than Hue wel, 
very many do write, but after such a fashion as very many do shoote. 
Some shooters take in hande stronger bowes than they be able to main- 
taine. This thinge maketh them sometime to ouershoote the marke, 
sometyme to shoote far wyde and perchance hurt some that loke on. 
Other, that neuer learned to shoote, nor yet knoweth good shaft nor 
bowe, will be as busie as the bestV 

Ascham's example was followed by other learned men. But the chief 
was Thomas Wilson, who published a system of LOGIC and RHETORIC, 
both in English. Of his LOGIC I have already spoken. I have at pre- 
sent only to speak of the latter, which is not only written in English, 
but with a view of giving rules for composing in the English language. 
It appeared in 1553, the first year of queen Mary, and is entitled, THE 
ARTE OF RHETORiKE*ybr the vse of all suche as are studious of Elo- 
quence, setteforthe in Englishe by THOMAS WILSON c . Leonarde Cox, 

a He says in his Sclioolemaster, written ed Witcraft, teaching a perfect way to ar- 

soon after the year 1563, " There be more gue and dispute." This quaint author was 

of these vngracious bookes set out in print fond of new-devised terms, whence he uses 

within these few monethes, thaji have bene Speachcra/t for rhetoric, andforespeach for 

scene in England many score years be- preface. Dudley Fenner, who has before 

fore." B.i.fol.26a. edit.1589. 4to. [These been mentionedasapuritan preacher (supr. 

ungracious books could not be recent pro- p. 262. note u .), printed at Middleburg in 

ductions of monasteries, says Dr. Ashby, 1584, " The Artes of Logike and Retho- 

and quere as to the fact ? PARK.] rike, plainly set forth in the English 

b ToalltheGentlemenandYomenofEng- tongue; together with examples for the 

land. Prefixed to ToxopJdlus, The Schole practise of the same," &c. These exam- 

or partition of shooting, Lond. 1545. 4to. pies and their illustrations are constantly 

* [Puttenham tells us that "Master se- drawn from Scripture. PARK.] 
cretary Wilson, giving an English name to Lond. 1553. 4to. Dedicated to John 

his Arte of Logicke, called it Witcraft." Dudley, earl of Warwick. In the Dedi- 

Qu. whether this term was not the con- cation he says, that he wrote great part of 

ceit of Ralphe Lever, who in 1573 pub- this treatise during the last summer vaca- 

lished "The Arte of Reason, rightly term- tion in the country, at the house of sir 


a schoolmaster, patronised by Farringdon the last abbot of Reading, 
had published in 1530, as I have observed, an English tract on rhetoric, 
which is nothing more than a technical and elementary manual. Wil- 
son's treatise is more liberal, and discursive ; illustrating the arts of 
eloquence by example, and examining and ascertaining the beauties of 
composition with the speculative skill and sagacity of a critic. It may 
therefore be justly considered as the first book or system of criticism 
in our language. A few extracts from so curious a performance need 
no apology ; which will also serve to throw light on the present period, 
and indeed on our general subject, by displaying the state of critical 
knowledge, and the ideas of writing, which now prevailed. 

I must premise, that Wilson, one of the most accomplished scholars 
of his time, was originally a fellow of King's College d , where he was 
tutor to the two celebrated youths Henry and Charles Brandon dukes 
of Suffolk. Being a doctor of laws, he was afterwards one of the ordi- 
nary masters of requests, master of saint Katharine's hospital near the 
Tower, a frequent ambassador from queen Elizabeth to Mary queen of 
Scots, and into the Low Countries*, a secretary of state and a privy 
counsellor, and at length, in 1579, dean of Durham. He died in 1581. 
His remarkable diligence and dispatch in negotiation is said to have 
resulted from an uncommon strength of memory. It is another proof 
of his attention to the advancement of our English style, that he trans- 
lated seven orations of Demosthenes, which, in 1570, he dedicated to 
sir William Cecil 6 . 

Under that chapter of his third book of RHETORIC which treats of 
the four parts belonging to elocution, Plainnesse, Aptnesse, Compo- 

Edward Dimmoke ; and that it originated Latin by Nicholas Carr. To whose ver- 
from a late conversation with his lordship, sion Hatcher prefixed this distich. [MSS. 
"emonge other talke of learnyng." Itwas More, 102. Carr's Autograph MS.] 

tions his escape at Rome, which I have Wilson published many other things. In 

above related ; and adds, "If others neuer Gabriel Harvey's Smithus, dedicated to 

gette more by bookes than I have doen, sir Walter Mildmay, and printed by Bin- 

it wer better be a carter than a scholar, neman in 1578, he is ranked with his 

for worldlie profile." learned cotemporaries. See Signat. D iij. 

d Admitted scholar in 1541. A native E ij. I j. 
of Lincolnshire. MS, Hatcher. [Barneby Barnes has a sonnet in Pierce's 

* [From a Prologue to the reader be- Supererogation, in which he speaks of our 

fore the second edition of his Rhetoric in rhetorician as 
1560, we learn that he was in Italy and at ,,,., , ,. .... 

Rome in 1558, where he was " coumpted Wlls n ' ^ h . Ose ^ did redresse 

" Ur En S llsh 

an heretike," for having written his two 

books on Logic and Rhetoric, where he Haddon in his Poemata, 1567, pays two- 

underwent imprisonment, was convened fold tribute to Wilson's Arts of Logic and 

before the college of Cardinals, and nar- Rhetoric ; and Dr. Knox, in his Liberal 

rowly escaped with life to England, "his Education, regards the latter of these as 

deare countrie, out of greate thraldome doing honour to English literature, if we 

and forrein bondage." PARK.] consider the state of the times. PAKK.] 

e Which had been also translated into 

VOL. in. T 


sicion, Exornacion, Wilson has these observations on simplicity of style, 
which are immediately directed to those who write in the English 
tongue. " Among other lessons this should first be learned, that we 
neuer affect any straunge ynkehorne termes, but to speake as is com- 
monly receiued : neither seking to be ouer fine, nor yet liuing ouer 
carelesse, vsing our speache as moste men do, and ordering our wittes 
as the fewest haue doen. Some seke so farre for outlandishe Englishe, 
that they forget altogether their mothers language. And I dare sweare 
this, if some of their mothers were aliue, thei were not able to tel what 
thei saie : and yet these fine Englishe clerkes wil saie thei speake in 
their mother tongue, if a man should charge them for counterfeityng 
the kinges Englishe. Some farre iournied gentlemen at their returne 
home, like as thei loue to go in forrein apparel, so thei will pouder their 
talke with ouersea language. He that cometh lately out of Fraunce 
will talke Frenche Englishe, and neuer blushe at the matter. Another 
choppes in with Englishe Italianated, and applieth the Italian ph raise 
to our Englishe speakyng : the whiche is, as if an Oratour that pro- 
fesseth to vtter his mynde in plaine Latine, would needes speake Po- 
etrie, and farre fetched colours of straunge antiquitie. The lawier will 
store his stomacke with the prating of pedlers. The auditour, in ma- 
kyng his accompt and reckenyng, cometh in with sise sould, and cater 
denere*, for vjs. and iiijc/. The fine courtier will talke nothyng but 
CHAUCER f . The misticall wisemen, and poeticall clerkes, will speake 
nothyng but quainte prouerbes, and blinde allegories ; delightyng 
muche in their owne darknesse, especially when none can tel what 
thei do saie. The vnlearned or folishe phantasticall, that smelles but 
of learnyng (svche fellowes as haue scene learned men in their daies) 
will so Latine their tongues, that the simple cannot but wonder at their 
talke, and thinke surely thei speake by some reuelacion. I know Them, 
that thinke RHETORIKE to stand wholie vpon darke wordes ; and he 
that can catche an ynkehorne terme by the taile, hym thei compt to be 
a fine Englishman and a good rhetorician f . And the rather to set out 

* [i.e. accounts kept in French or Latin, be high in the departments of the law in 

size sous and quatre deniers. ASIIBY.] queen Mary's time, and died in 1579. 

f- [And yet Puttenham, a little after- Having told a story from his own know- 
wards, in the passage quoted by Mr. War- ledge in the year 1553, of a ridiculous ora- 
ton (Note f ), alleges that the language of tion made in parliament by a new speaker 
Chaucer was then out of use, which made of the house, who came from Yorkshire, 
it unadvisable for poets to follow it. Spen- and had more knowledge in the affairs of 
ser however thought otherwise, and Webbe his country, and of the law, than grace- 
seems to have applauded his practice. fulness or delicacy of language, he pro- 
PAKK.] ceeds, "And though graue and wise coun- 

f Puttenham, in The Arte of English sellours in their consultations do not vse 

Poesie, where he treats of style and Ian- much superfluous eloquence, and also in 

guage, brings some illustrations from the their iudiciall hearings do much mislike 

practice of oratory in the reign of queen all scholasticall rhetoricks ; yet in such a 

Mary, in whose court he lived: and al- case as it may be (and as this parliament 

though his book is dated 1589, it was was) if the lord chancelour of England or 

manifestly written much earlier. He re- archbishop of Canterbury himselfe were to 

fers to sir Nicholas Bacon, who began to speke, he ought to do it cunningly and elo- 



this folie, I wilt adde here svche a letter as William Sommer* himself 
could not make a better for that purpose, deuised by a Lincolneshire 
man for a voide benefice h ." This point he illustrates with other fami- 
liar and pleasant instances 1 . 

In enforcing the application and explaining the nature of fables, for 

quently, which cannot be without the vse 
of figures : and neuerthelesse, none im- 
peachment or blemish to the grauitie of 
their persons or of the cause : wherein I 
report me to them that knew sir Nicholas 
Bacon lord keeper of the great scale, or 
the now lord treasurer of England, and 
haue bene conuersant with their speeches 
made in the parliament house and starre 
chamber. From whose lippes I haue scene 
to proceede more graue and naturall elo- 
quence, than from all the oratours of Ox- 
ford and Cambridge. I have come to the 
lord keeper sir Nicholas Bacon, and found 
him sitting in his gallery alone, with the 
workes of Quintilian before him. In deede 
he was a most eloquent man and of rare 
learning and wisdome as euer I knew Eng- 
land to breed, and one that ioyed as much 
in learned men and men of good witts." 
Lib. iii. ch. ii. pag. 116 seq. What follows 
soon afterwards is equally apposite : " This 
part in our maker or poet must be heedyly 
looked vnto, that it [his language] be na- 
turall, pure, and the most vsuall of all his 
countray : and for the same purpose, rather 
that which is spoken in the kinges court, 
or in the good townes and cities within the 
land, than in the marches and frontiers, or 
in port townes where straungers haunt for 
traffike sake, or yet in vniuersities where 
schollars vse much peevish affectation of 
words out of the primitiue languages ; or 
finally, in any vplandish village or corner 
of the realme, &c. But he shall follow 
generally the better brovght vp sort, such 
as the Greekes call charientes, men ciuill 
and graciously behauored and bred. Our 
maker therefore at these dayes shall not 
follow Piers Plowman, nor Gower, nor Lyd- 
gatc, nor yet Chaucer, for their language is 
now out of vse with vs : neither shall he 
take the termes of northerne men, suche 
as they vse in daily talke, whether they 
be noblemen or gentlemen, or of their best 
clarkes, all is a matter, &c. Ye shall there- 
fore take the vsuall speach of the court, 
and that of London, and the shires lying 
abovt London within Ix myles, and not 
mvch aboue. I say not this, bvt that in 
euery shyre of England there be gentle- 
men and others that speke, but specially 
write, as good Sovtherne as we of Mid- 
dlesex or Surrey do, bvt not the common 
people of euery shire, to whom the gen- 
tlemen, and also their learned clarkes, do 

for the most part condescend : but herein 
we are already ruled by the English Dic- 
tionaries, and other bookes written by 
learned men. Albeit peraduenture some 
small admonition be not impertinent ; for 
we finde in our English writers many 
wordes and speeches amendable, and ye 
shall see in some many ink-home termes 
so ill-affected brought in by men of learn- 
ing, as preachers and schoolemasters, and 
many slraunge termes of other languages 
by secretaries and marchaunts and tra- 
ueillours, and many darke wordes and 
not vsuall nor well sounding, though they 
be daily spoken at court." Ibid. ch. iii. 
fol. 120, 121. 

g King Henry's jester. In another 
place he gives us one of Sommer's jests. 
" William Sommer seying muche adoe for 
accomptes makyng, and that Henry the 
Eight wanted money, such as was due 
to him, And please your grace, quoth he, 
you haue so many Frauditours, so many 
Conueighers, and so many Deceiuers, to 
get vp your money, that thei get all to 
themselues." That is, Auditors, Survey- 
ors, and Receivers, fol. 102 b. I have seen 
an old narrative of a progress of king Henry 
the Eighth and queen Katharine to New- 
bery in Berkshire, where Sommer, who 
had accompanied their majesties as court- 
buffoon, fell into disgrace with the people 
for his impertinence, was detained, and 
obliged to submit to many ridiculous in- 
dignities ; but extricated himself from all 
his difficulties by comic expedients and 
the readiness of his wit. On returning to 
court, he gave their majesties, who were 
inconsolable for his long absence, a mi- 
nute account of these low adventures, with 
which they were infinitely entertained. 
What shall we think of the manners of 
such a court ? 

h Viz. " Ponderyng, expendyng, and 
reuolutyng with myself, your ingent affa- 
bilitie, and ingenious capacitie for mun- 
dane affaires, I cannot but celebrate and 
extoll your magnificall dexteritie above all 
other. For how could you have adapted 
suche illustrate prerogative, and domini- 
call superioritie, if the fecunditie of your 
ingenie had not been so fertile and won- 
derfull pregnaunt?" &c. It is to the lord 
chancellor. See what is said of A. Borde's 
style, at p. 73 of this volume. 

1 B. iii. fol. 82 b. edit. 1567 

T 2 


the purpose of amplification, he gives a general idea of the Iliad and 
Odyssey. " The saying of poetes, arid al their fables, are not to be 
forgotten. For by them we maie talke at large, and win men by per- 
swasion, if we declare before hand, that these tales wer not fained of 
suche wisemen without cause, neither yet continued vntill this time, 
and kept in memorie without good consideracion, and thcrevpon de- 
clare the true meanyng of all svche writynge. For vndoubtedly, there 
is no one Tale among all the poetes, but vnder the same is compre- 
hended somethyng that perteyneth either to the amendement of ma- 
ners, to the knowledge of truthe, to the settyng forth of natures worke, 
or els to the vnderstanding of some notable thing doen. For what 
other is the painful trauaile of VHsses, described so largely by Homere, 
but a liuely picture of mans miserie in this life ? And as Plutarche 
saith, and likewise Basilius Magnus, in the ILIADES are described 
strength and valiauntnesse of bodie; in ODISSEA, is set forthe a liuely 
paterae of the mynde. The Poetes were Wisemen, and wisshed in harte 
the redresse of thinges, the which when for feare thei durst not openly 
rebuke, they did in colours paint them out, and tolde men by shadowes 
what thei shold do in good sothe : or els, because the wicked were vn- 
worthy to heare the trueth, thei spake so that none might vnderstande 
but those vnto whom thei please to vtter their meanyng, and knewe 
them to be men of honest eonuersacion*." 

Wilson thus recommends the force of circumstantial description, or, 
what he calls, An euident or plaine setting forthe of a thing as though it 
were presently doen. " An example. If our enemies shal inuade and 
by treason win the victory, we al shal die euery mothers sonne of vs, 
and our citee shal be destroied, sticke and stone : I se our children made 
slaues, our daughters rauished, our wiues carried away, the father forced 
to kill his owne sonne, the mother her daughter, the sonne his father, 
the sucking childe slain in his mothers bosom, one standyng to the 
knees in anothers blood, churches spoiled, houses plucte down, and al 
set on fire round about vs, euery one cvrsing the daie of their birth, 
children criyng, women wailing, &c. Thus, where I might haue said, 
We shal al be destroied, and say no more, I haue by description set the 
euili forthe at large k ." It must be owned that this picture of a sacked 
city is literally translated from Quintilian ; but it is a proof, that we 
were now beginning to make the beauties of the ancients our own. 

On the necessity of a due preservation of character he has the fol- 
lowing precepts, which seem to be directed to the writers of Historical 
Plays. " In describyng of persons, there ought alwaies a comelinesse 
to be vsed, so that nothing be spoken which may be thought is not in 
them. As if one shold describe Henry the Sixth, he might call hym 
jentle, milde of nature, ledde by perswacion, and ready to forgiue, care- 
Jesse for wealth, suspecting none, mercifull to al, fearful in aduersitie, 

* Lib. iii. fol. 99 b. * Fol. 91 a. 


and without forecast to espie his misfortvne. Agaiiie, for Ilicharde the 
Thirde, I might brynge him in cruell of harte, ambicious by nature, 
enuious of rainde, a deepe dissembler, a close man for weightie matters, 
hardie to reuenge and fearefull to lose hys high estate, trustie to none, 
liberall for a purpose, castyng still the worste, and hoping euer the best 1 . 
By this figure also, we imagine a talke for some one to speake, and 
accordyng to his persone we frame the oration. As if one shoulde bryng 
in noble Henry the Eight of moste famous memory, to enuegh against 
rebelles, thus he might order his oration. What if Henry the Eight 
were aliue, and sawe suche rebellion in the realme, would fie not saie thus 
and thus ? Yea, methinkes I heare hym speake euen nowe. And so 
sette forthe suche wordes as we would haue hym to say 11 ." Shakspeare 
himself has not delineated the characters of these English monarchs 
with more truth. And the first writers of the MIRROUR FOR MAGI- 
STRATES, who imagine a talke for some one to speake^ and according to 
his person frame the oration^ appear to have availed themselves of these 
directions, if not to have catched the notion of their whole plan from 
this remarkable passage. 

He next shows the advantages of personification in enlivening a com- 
position. " Some times it is good to make God, the Countray, or some 
one Towne, to speake ; and looke what we would saie in our owne per- 
sone, to frame the whole tale to them. Such varietie doeth much good 
to auoide tediousnesse. For he that speaketh all in one sorte, though 
he speake thinges neuer so wittilie, shall sone weary his hearers. 
Figures therefore were inuented, to auoide satietie, and cause delite : 
to refresh with pleasure and quicken with grace the dulnesse of mans 
braine. Who will looke on a white wall an houre together where no 
workemanshippe is at all ? Or who will eate still one kynde of meate 
and neuer desire chaunge ?" 

Prolix narratives, whether jocose or serious, had not yet ceased to 
be the entertainment of polite companies ; and rules for telling a tale 
with grace now found a place in a book of general rhetoric P. In treat- 

1 Richard the Third seems to have been both speaking of Pleadings and Sermons, 

an universal character for exemplifying he says, " If tyme nude so serue, it were 

a cruel disposition. Our author, meaning good when menne be wearied, to make 

to furnish a chamber with persons famous them somewhat merie, and to begin with 

for the greatest crimes, says in another some pleasaunte tale, or take occasion to 

place, " In the bedstede I will set Richarde ieste wittelie," &c. fol. 55 b. Again, " Men 

the Third kinge of Englande, or somelike commonlie tarie the ende of a merie Plaie, 

notable murtherer." fol. 109 b. Shak- and cannot abide the half hearyng of a 

speare was not the first that exhibited this sower checkyng Sermon. Therefore euen 

tyrant upon the stage. In 1586, a ballad these aunciente preachers muste nowe and 

was printed called a " tragick report of then plaie the fooles in the pulpite to serue 

kinge Richarde the iii." Registr. Station. the tickle eares of their fletyng audience." 

B. fol. 210 b. &c. fol. 2 a. I know not if he means La- 

m Lively description. timer here, whom he commends, There 

Fol. 91 b. is no better preacher among them al except 

Fol. 91 b. 92 a. Hugh Latimer the father of al preachers." 

p Yet he has here also a reference to the fol. 63 a. And again, " I would thinke it 

utility of tales both at the Bar and in the not amisse to speake muche accordyng 

Pulpit. For in another place, professedly to the nature and phansie of the igno- 



ing of pleasaunt sporte made rehearsyng of a whole matter, he says, 
" Thei that can liuely tell pleasaunt tales and mery dedes doen, and set 
them out as wel with gesture as with voice, leauing nothing behinde 
that maie serue for beautifying of their matter, are most meete for this 
purpose, whereof assuredly ther are but fewe. And whatsoeuer he is, 
that can aptlie tell his tale, and with countenaunce, voice, and gesture, 
so temper his reporte, that the hearers may still take delite, hym coompte 
I a man worthie to be highlie estemed. For vndoubtedly no man can 
doe any such thing excepte that thei haue a greate mother witte, and 
by experience confirmed suche their comelinesse, whervnto by nature 
thei were most apte. Manie a man readeth histories, heareth fables, 
seeth worthie actes doen, euen in this our age ; but few can set them 
out accordinglie, and tell them liuelie, as the matter selfe requireth to 
be tolde. The kyndes of delityng in this sort are diners : whereof I 
will set forth many, Sporte moued by telly ng ofolde tales. If there be 
any olde tale or straunge historic, well and wittelie applied to some man 
liuyng, all menne loue to heare it of life. As if one were called Arthure, 
some good felowe that were well acquainted with KYNG ARTHURES 
BOOKE and the Knightes of his Rounde Table, would want no matter 
to make good sport, and for a nede would dubbe him knight of the 
Rounde Table, or els proue hym to be one of his kynne, or else (which 

rant, that the rather thei might be wonne 
through fables to learne more weightie 
and graue matters. For al men cannot 
brooke sage causes and auncient collations, 
but will like earnest matters the rather, if 
something be spoken there among agree- 
ing to their natures. The multitude, as 
Horace doth saie, is a beast or rather a 
monster that hath many heddes, and there- 
fore, like vnto the diuersitie of natvres, 
varietie of inuention must alwaies be vsed. 
Talke altogether of most graue matters, or 
deppely searche out the ground of thynges, 
or vse the quiddities of Dunce [Duns Sco- 
tus] to set forth Gods misteries, you shal 
se the ignorant, I warrant you, either fall 
aslepe, or els bid you farewell. The mul- 
titude must nedes be made merry; and 
the more foolish your talke is, the more 
wise will thei counte it to be. And yet it 
is no foolishnes but rather wisdome to win 
men, by telling of fables to heare Gods 
goodnes." fol. 101 a. See also fol. 52 a. 
69 a. Much to the same purpose he says, 
" Euen in this our tyme, some offende 
muche in tediousnesse, whose parte it 
were to comfort all men with chereful- 
nesse. Yea, the preachers of God mind 
so muche edifiyng of soules,that thei often 
forgette we have any bodies. And there- 
fore, some doe not so muche good with 
tellyng the truthe, as thei doe harme with 
dullyng the hearers ; beyng so farre gone 
in their matters, that oftentimes thei can- 

not tell when to make an ende." fol. 70 a. 
Yet still he allows much praise to the 
preachers in general of his age. " Yea, 
what tell I nowe of suche lessons, seeyng 
God hath raised suche worthy preachers 
in this our tyme, that their godlie and 
learned doynges maie be a moste iuste 
example for all other tofollowe." fol. 55 b. 
By the way, although a zealous gospeller, 
in another place he obliquely censures the 
rapacity with which the reformation was 
conducted under Edward the Sixth. [See 
p. 14 of this volume.] " I had rather, 
said one, make my child a cobler than a 
preacher, a tankard-bearer than a scholer. 
For what shall my sonne seke for learn- 
yng, when he shall neuer get thereby any 
livyng? Set my sonne to that whereby 
he mai get somewhat. Doe you not see, 
how euery one catcheth and pulleth from 
the churche what thei can ? I feare me, 
one dai they will plucke downe churche 
and all. Call you this the Gospell, when 
men seke onlie for to prouide for their bel- 
lies, and care not a groate though their 
soules go to helle ? A pairone of a bene- 
fice will haue a poore yngrame soule to 
beare the name of a parsone for twentie 
marke, or tenne pounde ; and the patrone 
hymself will take vp, for his snapshare, as 
good as an hundred marke. Thus, God 
is robbed, learnyng decaied, England dis- 
honoured, and hoaestie not regarded." 
fol. 9 a. 


were muche) proue him to be Arthur himself. And so likewise of other 
names, merie panions^ would make madde pastyme. Oftentymes the 
deformitie of a mannes body giueth matter enough to be right merie, 
or elles a picture in shape like another manne will make some to laugh 
right hartelye," &c. r This is no unpleasing image of the arts and ac- 
complishments, which seasoned the mirth, and enlivened the conversa- 
tions of our forefathers. Their wit seems to have chiefly consisted in 
mimicry 3 . 

He thus describes the literary and ornamental qualifications of a young 
nobleman which were then in fashion, and which he exemplifies in the 
characters of his lamented pupils*, Henry duke of Suffolk and lord 
Charles Brandon his brother 1 : " I maie commende hym for his learn- 
yng, for his skill in the French or in the Italian, for his knowlege in 
cosmographie, for his skill in the lawes, in the histories of al countrees, 
and for his gift of enditing. Againe, I maie commende him for play- 
ing at weapons, for running vpon a great horse, for chargyng his staffe 
at the tilt, for vauting, for plaiyng upon instrumentes, yea and for paint- 
ing, or drawing of a plat, as in olde time noble princes muche delited 
therm u ." And again, " Suche a man is an excellent fellowe, saithe one, 
he can speake the tongues well, he plaies of instrumentes, fewe men 
better, he feigneth to the Ivte marveilous sweetlie w , he endites excel- 
lentlie; but for al this, the more is the pitee, he hath his faultes, he will 
be dronke once a daie, he loues women well," &c. x 

The following passage acquaints us, among other things, that many 
now studied, and with the highest applause, to write elegantly in Eng- 
lish as well as in Latin. " When we haue learned vsuall and accvstom- 
able wordes to set forthe our meanynge, we ought to ioyne them to- 
gether in apte order, that the eare maie delite in hearyng the harmonic. 
I knowe some Englishemen, that in this poinct haue suche a gift in the 
Englishe as fewe in Latin haue the like ; and therefore delite the Wise 
and Learned so muche with their pleasaunte composition, that many 
reioyce when thei maie heare suche, and thinke muche learnyng is gotte 
when thei maie talke with them?." But he adds the faults which were 

q Companions, a cant word. bothe the aire is better, the people more 

r Fol. 74 a. ciuil, and the wealth much greater, and 

s See fol. 70 a. the menne for the most parte more wise." 

* ["All England, he says, lament the fol. 7 a. 
death of Duke Henrie and Duke Charles, u Fol. 7 a. 

two noble brethren of the house of Suf- w He mentions the Lute again. " The 

folk. Then may we well judge that these tongue giueth a certaine grace to euery 

two gentlemen were wonderfully beloved matter, and beautifieth the cause, in like 

when they both were so lamented." fol. maner as a sweete soundyng lute muche 

65 a. PARK.] setteth forth a meane deuised ballade." 

1 He gives a curious reason why a young fol. Ilia, 
nobleman had better be born in London x Fol. 67 a. 

than any other place. " The shire or y This work is enlivened with a variety 

towne helpeth somewhat towardes the of little illustrative stories, not ill told, of 

encrease of honour ; as it is much better which the following is a specimen. " An 

to be borne in Paris than in Picardie, Italian havyng a sute here in Englande to 

in London than in Lincolne ; for that the archbushoppe of Yorke that then was, 



sometimes now to be found in English composition, among which he 
censures the excess of alliteration. " Some will bee so shorte, and in 
such wise curtail their sentences, that thei had neede to make a 
mentary immediatelie of their meanyng, or els the moste that heare 
them shal be forced to kepe counsaile. Some wil speake oracles, that 
a man can not tell, which waie to take them. Some will be so fine, 
and so poeticall withall, that to their seming there shall not stande 
one heare [hair] amisse, and yet euery bodie els shall think them me- 
ter [fitter] for a ladies chamber than for an earnest matter in any 
open assembly. Some vse overmuche repetition of one letter, BSpUi- 
full povertie prayeth for a penie, but puffed presumption passeth not a 
poincty pamperyng his panche with pestilent pleasure, procuryng his 

and commynge to Yorke toune, when one 
of the Prebendaries there brake his bread, 
as they tenne it, and therevpon made a 
solemne longe diner, the whiche perhaps 
began at eleuen and continued well nigh 
till fower in the afternoone, at the whiche 
dinner this bishoppe was : It fortvned 
that as they were sette, the Italian knockt 
at the gate, vnto whom the porter, per- 
ceiuing his errand, answered, that my lord 
bisshoppe was at diner. The Italian de- 
parted, and retourned betwixte twelve and 
one ; the porter aunswered they were yet 
at dinner. He came againe at twoo of the 
clocke ; the porter tolde hym thei had not 
half dined. He came at three a clocke, 
vnto whom the porter in a heate answered 
neuer a worde, but churlishlie did shutte 
the gates vpon him. Wherevpon, others 
told the Italian, that ther was no speaking 
with my Lord, almoste all that daie, for 
the solemne diner sake. The gentilman 
Italian, wonderyng muche at suche a long 
sitting, and greatly greued because he 
could not then speake with the archbys- 
shoppes grace, departed straight towardes 
London ; and leauyng the dispatche of 
his matters with a dere frende of his, toke 
his iourney towardes Italic. Three yeres 
after, it hapened that an Englishman 
came to Rome, with whom this Italian by 
chaunce fallyng acquainted, asked him if 
he knewe the archbisshoppe of Yorke? 
The Englishman said, he knewe hym right 
well. I praie you tell me, quoth the Ita- 
lian, hath that archbishop yet dined?" 
The Italian explaining himself, they both 
laughed heartily, fol. 78 b. 79 a. 

He commends Dr. Haddon's latinity, 
which is not always of the purest cast. 
" There is no better Latine man within 
England, except Gualter Haddon the law- 
ier." fol. 63 a. Again, he commends a 
prosopopeia of the duchess of Suffolk, 
in Haddon's Oratio de vita et obitu fra- 
trum Suffolciensium Henrici et Caroli 
Prandon. [edit. Hatcher, Lond. 1577. 4to. 

p. 89, viz. Lucubrationes G. Haddon.] 
fol. 94 a. 

He mentions John Heiwood's Proverbs. 
[See p. 88 of this volume.] " The Englishe 
Proverbes gathered by Jhon Heiwoode 
helpe well in this behaulfe [allegory], the 
which commonlie are nothyng els but Alle- 
gories, and dark deuised sentences." fol. 
90 a. Again, for furnishing similitudes, 
" The Prouerbes of Heiwood helpe won- 
derfull well for thys purpose." fol. 96 b. 

He condemns, in an example, the grow- 
ing practice of mothers who do not suckle 
their own children, which he endeavours 
to prove to be both against the law of na- 
ture and the will of God. fol. 56 a. Here 
is an early proof of a custom, which may 
seem to have originated in a more luxu- 
rious and delicate age. 

To these miscellaneous extracts I shall 
only add, that our author, who was always 
esteemed a sincere advocate for protest- 
antism, and never suspected of leaning to 
popery, speaking of an artificial memo- 
ry, has this theory concerning the use of 
images in churches. " When I see a lion, 
the image thereof abideth faster in my 
minde, than if I should heare some re- 
porte made of a lion. Emong all the 
sences, the iye [eye] sight is most quicke, 
and conteineth the impression of thinges 
more assuredlie than any of the other 
sences doe. And the rather, when a manne 
both heareth and seeth a thing, (as by 
artificiall memorie he doeth almost see 
thinges liuely,) he doeth remember it 
muche the better. The sight printeth 
thinges in a mans memorie as a scale 
doeth printe a mans name in waxe. And 
therefore, heretofore Images were sette vp 
for remembraunce of sainctes, to be LAIE- 
MENNKS BOOKES, that the rather by sey- 
ing [seeing] the pictures of suche men, 
thei might be stirred to follow their good 
living. Marry, for this purpose whereof 
we now write, this would haue serued 
gailie well." fol. 1 1 1 a. 


passeport to poste it to hell pitte, there to be punished with paines perpe- 
tuall" Others he blames for the affectation of ending a word with a 
vowel and beginning the next with another. " Some," he says, " ende 
their sentences al alike, makyng their talke [style] rather to appere 
rimed meter, than to seme plaine speache. I heard a preacher 2 de- 
lityng muche in this kinde of composicion, who vsed so often to ende 
his sentence with woordes like vnto that which went before, that in my 
Judgement, there was not a dosen sentences in his whole sermon but 
thei ended all in rime for the moste parte. Some, not best disposed, 
wished the Preacher a Lute, that with his rimed sermon he might vse 
some pleasaunte melodie, and so the people might take pleasure diuers 
waies, and daunce if thei liste." Some writers, he observes, disturbed 
the natural arrangement of their words: others were copious when they 
should be concise. The most frequent fault seems to have been, the 
rejection of common and proper phrases, for those that were more 
curious, refined, and unintelligible a . 

The English RHETORIC of Richard Sherry, schoolmaster of Mag- 
dalene college at Oxford, published in 1 555 b , is a jejune and a very dif- 
ferent performance from Wilson's, and seems intended only as a manual 
for school-boys. It is entitled, " A treatise of the figures of grammar 
and rhetorike, profitable to all that be studious of eloquence, and in 
especiall for such as in grammar scholes doe reade most eloquerite 
poetes and oratours. Wherevnto is ioygned the Oration which Cicero 
made to Cesar, geuing thankes vnto him for pardonyng and restoring 
again of that noble man Marcus Marcellus. Sette fourth by Richarde 
Sherry e Londonar, 1555 C ." William Fullwood, in his Enemie of idle- 
ness, teaching the manner and style hoive to endyte and write all sorts of 
epistles and letters, set forth in English by William Fullwood merchant, 
published in 1571 d , written partly in prose and partly in verse, has left 

z Preaching and controversial tracts verbs, Lond. 1589. 4to. Among the twelve 

occasioned much writing in English after players sworn the queen's servants in 1583, 

the reformation. were "two rare men, viz. Thomas Wil- 

a Fol. 85 a. b. 86 a. One Thomas Wil- son for a quicke, delicate, refined extern- 
son translated the Diana of Montemayer, porall witte, and Richard Tarleton," &c. 
a pastoral Spanish romance, about the Stowe's Ann. edit. 1615. fol. 697. 
year 1595, which has been assigned as [I apprehend that Mr. Warton in this 
the original of the Two Gentlemen of note has confounded Dean Wilson the 
Verona. He could hardly be our author, rhetorical writer, with Thomas Wilson, 
unless that version was one of his early the romance translator, and with another 
juvenile exercises. This translator Wil- Wilson, who is recorded by Stowe, by 
son I presume is the person mentioned by Meres, and by Heywood, as a comedian 
Meres as a poet, "Who for learning and of distinguished celebrity. PARK.] 
extemporall witte in this facultie is with- b But there seems to have been a for- 
out compare or compeere, as to his great mer edition by Richard Day, 1550, in 
and eternall commendations he manifest- octavo. 

ed in his challenge at the Swanne on the [There was one by Rd. Grafton in 

Bank side." Wit's Treas. edit. 1598. 1553, 4to, which from the continued 

12mo. utsupr. fol. 285. p. 2. Again, he date in the title was probably the first. 

mentions one Wilson as an eminent dra- PARK.] 

matic writer, perhaps the same. Ibid. c For Richard Tottell. 12mo. In 74 

fol. 282. There is, by one Thomas Wil- leaves. 

son, an Exposition on the Psalms, Lond. d In four books, 12mo. [1568. 1571. 

1591. 4to. and an Exposition on the Pro- 1578. 1586. 1598. 




this notice : " Whoso will more circumspectly and narrowly entreat of 
such matters, let them read the rhetorike of maister doctour Wilson, or 
of maister Richard Rainolde 6 ." I have never seen Richard Rainolde's 
RHETORIC, nor am I sure that it was ever printed*. The author, 
Rainolde, was of Trinity college in Cambridge, and created doctor of 
medicine in 1567 f . He wrote also a Latin tract dedicated to the duke 
of Norfolk, on the condition of princes and noblemen^: and there is an 
old CRONICLE in quarto by one Richard Reynolds 11 . I trust it will be 
deemed a pardonable anticipation, if I add here, for the sake of connec- 
tion, that Richard Mulcaster, who from King's college in Cambridge 
was removed to a Studentship of Christ-church in Oxford about the 
the year 1555, and soon afterwards, on account of his distinguished ac- 
complishments in philology, was appointed the first master of Merchant- 
Taylors' school in London 1 , published a book which contains many 

" This booke, by practise of the pen 

And judgement of the wise, 
Stands Enemie to Idlenesse, 
And friend to exercise." PARK.] 

It is dedicated to the master, wardens, 
and company of Merchant Taylors Lon- 
don. "Think not Apelles painted piece." 
PR. " The ancient poet Lucanus." The 
same person translated into English, The 
Castle of Memorie, from William Gra- 
tarol, dedicated to lord Robert Dudly, 
master of the horse to the queen, Lond. 
for W. Howe in Fleetstreet, 1573. 8vo. 
Ded. begins, " Syth noble Maximilian 

[Robinson thus introduces him in an 
obscure poem called The Rewarde of 
Wickednesse, 1574. 

" Let Studley, Hake, or Fulwood take, 

That William hath to name, 
This piece of worke in hand, that bee 

More fitter for the same." PARK.] 

e Fol. 7 a. In 1562, " the Boke of 
Retoryke," of which I know no more, is 
entered to John Kyngeston. Registr. 
Station. A. fol. 87 b. 

[Kingston published editions of Wil- 
son's Rhetorike in 1560, 1567, and 1584. 
See Herbert, who records a later edition 
byGeo. Robinson in 1585. See also note c , 
p. 272. supr. PARK.] 

* [It was printed in 1563, 4to. and had 
for title " A booke called the Foundacion 
of Rhetorike, because all other partes of 
Rhetorike are grounded thereupon ; every 
parte sette forthe in an oracion upon 
questions, verie profitable to bee knowen 
and redde. Made by Richard Rainolde, 
maister of arte of the Universitie of Cam- 
bridge." This work is much less attract- 
ive than that of Dr. Wilson, and hence 
perhaps it has become proportionably rare. 
The following compliment seems liberally 
offered to his predecessor : " In fewe 

yeres past, a learned woorke of Rhetorike 
is compiled and made in the Englishe 
toungue, of one who floweth in all excel- 
lencie of arte, who in judgement is pro- 
fouhde, in wisedome and eloquence most 
famous." Address to the reader. PARK.] 

f MSS. Cat. Gradual. Univ. Cant. 

g MSS. Stillingfl. 160, " De statu no- 
bilium virorum et principum," 

h Of the Emperors of the romaines 
from Julius Cesar to Maximilian. Li- 
cenced to T. Marshe, in 1566. Registr. 
Station. A. fol. 154 b. [And printed in 
1571, 4to. See Herb. p. 860. Doubtless 
by the writer on Rhetoric, since he de- 
signates himself " Doctor in phisicke." 

1 In 1561. It was then just founded 
as a proseminary for saint John's college 
Oxford, in a house called the Manour of 
the Rose in saint Lawrence Pounteney, 
by the company of Merchant- Taylors. 
Saint John's college had been then esta- 
blished about seven years, which Mul- 
caster soon filled with excellent scholars 
till the year 1586. In the Latin plays 
acted before queen Elizabeth and James 
the First at Oxford, the students of this 
college were distinguished. This was in 
consequence of their being educated un- 
der Mulcaster. He was afterwards, in 
1596, master of saint Paul's school. He 
was a prebendary of Salisbury, and at 
length was rewarded by the queen with 
the opulent rectory of Stanford-Rivers 
in Essex, where he died in 1611. He 
was elected scholar of King's college 
Cambridge in 1548. MSS. Hatcher, and 
Contin. Hatch. Celebrated in its time 
ScliolcK Paulina conscriptus, Lond. 1601. 
8vo. &c. It is in long and short verse. 
Many of Mulcaster's panegyrics in Latin 
verse may be seen prefixed to the works 
of his cotemporaries. A copy of his Latin 


judicious criticisms and observations on the English language, entitled, 
" The first part of the ELEMENTARIE, which entreateth chefely of the 
right writing of the English tung, sett forth by Richard Mulcaster, 
Lond. J582 k ." And, as many of the precepts are delivered in metre, 
I take this opportunity of observing, that William Bullokar published a 
" Bref grammar for English, Imprinted at London by Edmund Bolli- 
fant, 1586 1 ." This little piece is also called, " W. Bullokar's abbreuia- 
tion of his Grammar for English extracted out of his Grammar at larg 
for the spedi parcing of English spech, and the eazier coming to the 
knowledge of grammar for other langages m ." It is in the black letter, 
but with many novelties in the type, and affectations of spelling. In 
the preface, which is in verse, and contains an account of his life, he 
promises a dictionary of the English language, which, he adds, will 
make his third work". His first work I apprehend to be " A Treatise 
of Orthographic in Englishe by William Bullokar," licenced to Henry 
Denham in 1580. Among Tanner's books is a copy of his bref gram- 
mar above-mentioned, interpolated and corrected with the author's own 
hand, as it appears, for a new impression. In one of these manuscript 
insertions, he calls this, " the first grammar for Englishe that euer waz, 
except my grammar at large?" 

The French have vernacular critical and rhetorical systems at a much 
higher period. I believe one of their earliest is "Le JARDIN de plai- 
sance et FLEUR de rhetorique, contenant plusieurs beaux livres." It is 
in quarto, in the gothic type with wooden cuts, printed at Lyons by 
Olivier Arnoullett for Martin Boullon, and without date. But it was 
probably printed early in 1500 q . In one of its poems, LA PIPEE ou 

verses was spoken before queen Eliza- chiefly of five points Reading, Writing, 

beth at Kenilworth-castle in 1575. See Drawing, Singing, and Playing. PARK.] 

G. Gascoyne's Narrative, &c. Signal. A. l Coloph. " Qd. W. Bullokar." 12mo. 

iij. It contains 68 pages. m Fol. 1. 

k Most elegantly printed, in the white n Here he says also, that he has another 

letter, by Thomas Vautrollier in quarto. volume lying by him of more fame, which 

It contains 272 pages. The second part is not to see the light till christened and 

never appeared. His "POSITIONS, where- called forth by the queen, 

in those primitive circumstances be exa- Jun. 10. Registr. Station. B. fol. 

mined which are necessarie for the train- 169 a. But I must not forget, that in 

ing vp of children either for skill in their 1585, he published, " Esop's fables intru 

booke or health in their bodies," [Lond. orthography, with grammer notz. Her- 

1581. 1587. 4to.] have no connection with unto ar also coioned the shorte sentencez 

this work. of the wyz Cato, imprinted with lyke form 

[Mr. Warton must have made this re- and order: both of which authorzar trans- 
mark without referring to the publica- lated out of Latin intoo English by Wil- 
tions of Mulcaster, who tells his readers Ham Bullokar." 12mo. 
that the stream of discourse in his first p Fol. 68. In his metrical preface he 
book named POSITIONS did carry him on says, that he served in the army under 
to promise, and bind him to perform, his sir Richard Wingfield in .queen Mary's 
book named ELEMENTARIE; that is "the time. There is " A petee schole of spel- 
hole matter which children ar to learn, linge and writinge Englishe," licensed 
and the hole maner how masters ar to to Butter, Jul. 20, 1580. Registr. B. 
teach them, from their first beginning to fol. 171 a. 

go to anie school untill theie passe to q There is another, I suppose a se- 
grammer." The latter therefore was a cond, edition, without date, in black let- 
ramification from the former, and treated ter, with wooden cuts, in folio, contain- 


chasse de dieu d 1 amour is cited the year 1491 r . Another edition, in the 
same letter, but in octavo, appeared at Paris in 1547> Veuve de Jehan 
Treperel et Jehan Jehannot. Beside the system of Rhetoric, which is 
only introductory, and has the separate title of L' ART DE RHETORIQUE, 
de ses couleurs, figures et especes 8 , it comprehends a miscellaneous col- 
lection of JBalades, rondeaux, chansons, dicties, comedies, and other en- 
tertaining little pieces*, chiefly on the subject of the sentimental and 
ceremonious love which then prevailed *. The whole, I am speaking 
of the oldest edition, contains one hundred and ninety leaves. The 
RHETORIC is written in the short French rhyme ; and the tenth chap- 
ter consists of rules for composing Moralities, Farces, Mysteries, and 
other ROMANS. That chapter is thus introduced, under the Latin 

Expediez sont neuf chapitres, 
II faut un dixieme exposer : 
Et comme aussi des derniers titers, 
Qu'on doit a se propos poser, 
Et comme Ton doit composer 
Moralites, Farces, Misteres ; 
Et d'autres Rommans disposer 
Selon les diverses matieres. 

The Latin rubrics to each species are exceedingly curious. " Deci- 
mum Capitulum pro forma compilandi MORALITATES. Pro COME- 
DIS U . Pro MISTERIIS compilandis." Receipts to make poems have 
generally been thought dull. But what shall we think of dull receipts 
for making dull poems ? Gratian du Pont, a gentleman of Tholouse, 
printed in 1,539 the "Art et Science de Rhetorique metrifiee w ." It 
must be remembered, that there had been an early establishment of 
prizes in poetry at Tholouse, and that the seven troubadours or rheto- 
ricans at Tholouse were more famous in their time than the seven 
sages of Greece x . But the " Grand et vrai Art de plein Rhetorique," 

ing two hundred and forty-eight leaves, u The farce, or comedy, must have, 

exclusive of the tables. This has some <lchos( . . ^ maodi 

fol. 134. *"* I" * comWieuse," &c. 

8 From fol. 2 a. to fol. 14 a. w Par N. Viellard, 4to. 

1 But the compiler has introduced " Le x See Verdier, ii. 649. From an inge- 

DONNET, traite de grammaire bailie au nious correspondent, who has not given 

feu roi Charles viii." fol. 20 a. One of me the honour of his name, and who ap- 

the pieces is a Morisque, in which the pears to be well acquainted with the man- 

actors are Amorevse grace, Enuieuse ja- ners and literature of Spain, I have re- 

lousie, Espoir de parvenir, Tout haban- ceived the following notices relating to 

donne, Sot penser, fol. 32 b. this institution, of which other particulars 

* [This was the remains of one half of may be seen in the old French History of 

chivalry-love, romantic and platonic be- Languedoc. " At the end of the second 

yond belief: the other half was just the volume of Mayan's Origines de la Lingua 

contrary, and equally indelicate from the Espanola, printed in duodecimo at Ma- 

same source. He refers for examples to drid in 1737, is an extract from a manu- 

Sect. xliii. pp. 116, 117 of this volume. script entitled, Librode la Artede Trovar, 

ASHBY.] d Gaya Sciencia, por Don Enrique de 




in two books, written by Pierre Fabri, properly Le Fevre, an eccle- 
siastic of Rouen, for teaching elegance in prose as well as rhyme, is 
dated still higher. Goujet mentions a Gothic edition of this tract in 

Villena, said to exist in the library of the 
cathedral of Toledo, and perhaps to be 
found in other libraries of Spain. It has 
these particulars. The Trovadores had 
their origin at Tholouse about the middle 
of the twelfth century. A CONSISTORIO 
de la Gaya Sciencia was there founded by 
Ramon Vidal de Besalin, containing more 
than one hundred and twenty celebrated 
poets, and among these, princes, kings, 
and emperors. Their art was extended 
throughout Europe, and gave rise to the 
Italian and Spanish poetry, servio el 
Garonade Hippocrene. To Ramon Vidal 
de Besalin succeeded Jofre de Foxa, 
Monge negro, who enlarged the plan, and 
wrote what he called Continuation de 
trovar. After him Belenguer de Troya 
came from Majorca, and compiled a trea- 
tise de Figurasy Colores Rhet oricos. And 
next Gul. Vedal of Majorca wrote La Suma 
Vitulina. To support the Gaya Sciencia 
at the poetical college of Tholouse, the 
king of France appropriated privileges 
and revenues, appointing seven Mantene- 
dores, que liciessen Leyes. These con- 
stituted the Laws of Love, which were 
afterwards abridged by Guill. Moluier 
under the title Tratado de las Flores. 
Next Fray Ramon framed a system call- 
ed Doctrinal, which was censured by Cas- 
tilnon. From thence nothing was writ- 
ten in Spanish on the subject till the time 
of Don Enrique de Villena. So great was 
the credit of the Gay Science, that Don 
Juan the first king of Arragon, who died 
1393, sent an embassy to the king of 
France requesting that some Troubadours 
might be transmitted to teach this art in 
his kingdom. Accordingly two Mantene- 
dores were dispatched from Tholouse, who 
founded a college for poetry in Barcelona, 
consisting of four Mantenedores, a Ca- 
valier, a Master in Theology, a Master in 
Laws, and an honourable Citizen. Dis- 
putes about Don Juan's successor occa- 
sioned the removal of the college to Tor- 
tosa : but Don Ferdinand being elected 
King, Don Enrique de Villena was taken 
into his service, who restored the col- 
lege, and was chosen principal. The sub- 
jects he proposed, were sometimes, the 
Praises of the Holy Virgin, of Arms, 
of Love, y de btienas Costumbrcs. An 
account of the ceremonies of their public 
Acts then follows, in which every compo- 
sition was recited, being written en pa- 
peles Damasquinos dc diver sos color es, con 
letras de oro y de plata, et illuminaduras 

formosas, lo major qua cada una podio. 
The best performance had a crown of gold 
placed upon it; and the author, being pre- 
sented with a joya, or prize, received a 
licence to cantar y decir in publico. He 
was afterwards conducted home in form, 
escorted among others by two Mantene- 
dores, and preceded by minstrels and 
trumpets, where he gave an entertain- 
ment of confects and wine." [See supr. 
vol. i. p. 147. et seqq. vol. ii. p. 224.] 

[Mr. Ashby thinks it probable that the 
anonymous correspondent was the Rev. 
Mr. John Bowles. PARK.] 

There seems to have been a similar 
establishment at Amsterdam, called 
Rhederiicker earner, or the CHAMBER OF 
RHETORICIANS, mentioned by Isaacus 
Pontanus, who adds, " Sunt autem hi 
rhetores viri amoeni et poetici spiritus, 
qui lingua vernacula, aut prosa aut vorsa 
oratione, comcedias, tragcedias, subinde- 
que et mutas personas, et facta maiorum 
notantes, magna spectantium voluptate 
exhibent." Rer. et Urb. Amst. lib. ii. 
c. xvi. pag. 118. edit. 1611. fol. In the 
preceding chapter, he says, that this fra- 
ternity of rhetoricians erected a temporary 
theatre, at the solemn entry of prince 
Maurice into Amsterdam in 1594, where 
they exhibited in DUMB SHOW the history 
of David and Goliath. Ibid. c. xv. p. 1 1 7. 

Meteranus, in his Belgic history, speaks 
largely of the annual prizes, assemblies, 
and contests of the guilds or colleges of 
the rhetoricians, in Holland and the Low 
Countries. They answered in rhyme, 
questions proposed by the dukes of Bur- 
gundy and Brabant. At Ghent in 1539, 
twenty of these colleges met with great 
pomp, to discuss an ethical question, and 
each gave a solution in a moral comedy, 
magnificently presented in the public 
theatre. In 1561, the rhetorical guild of 
Antwerp, called the VIOLET, challenged 
all the neighbouring cities to a decision 
of the same sort. On this occasion, three 
hundred and forty rhetoricians of Brussels 
appeared on horseback, richly but fantas- 
tically habited, accompanied with an in- 
finite variety of pageantries, sports and 
shows. These had a garland, as a re- 
ward for the superior splendour of their 
entry. Many days were spent in de- 
termining the grand questions ; during 
which, there were feastings, bonfires, 
farces, tumbling, and every popular diver- 
sion. Belg. Histor. Universal, fol. 1597. 
lib.i. p. 31, 32. 


1521 y . It contains remarks on the versification of mysteries and 
farces, and throws many lights on the old French writers. 

But the French had even an ART OF POETRY so early as the year 
1548. In that year Thomas Sibilet published his Artpoetique at Paris, 
Veuve Francois Regnault 2 . This piece preserves many valuable anec- 
dotes of the old French poetry ; and, among other particulars which 
develope the state of the old French drama, has the following sensible 
strictures. " The French farce contains little or nothing of the Latin 
comedy. It has neither acts nor scenes, which would only serve to 
introduce a tedious prolixity : for the true subject of the French farce, 
or SOTTIE, is every sort of foolery which has a tendency to provoke 
laughter. The subject of the Greek and Latin comedy was totally 
different from every thing on the French stage ; for it had more mo- 
rality than drollery, and often as much truth as fiction. Our MORAL- 
ITIES hold a place indifferently between tragedy arid comedy : but our 
farces are really what the Romans called mimes, or Priapees, the in- 
tended end and effect of which was excessive laughter, and on that 
account they admitted all kinds of licentiousness, as our farces do at 
present. In the meantime, their pleasantry does not derive much 
advantage from rhymes, however flowing, of eight syllables a ." Sibilet's 
work is chiefly founded on Horace. His definitions are clear and just, 
and his precepts well explained. The most curious part of it is the 
enumeration of the poets who in his time were of most repute. Jacques 
Pelletier du Mans, a physician, a mathematician, a poet, and a volu- 
minous writer on various subjects both in prose and verse, also pub- 
lished an ART POETIQUE at Lyons in 1555 b . This critic had sufficient 
penetration to perceive the false and corrupt taste of his cotemporaries. 
" Instead of the regular ode and sonnet, our language is sophisticated 
by ballads, rondeaux, lays, and triolets. But with these we must rest 
contented, till the farces which have so long infatuated our nation are 
converted into comedy, our martyr-plays into tragedy, and our ro- 
mances into heroic poems c ." And again, " We have no pieces in our 
language written in the genuine comic form, except some affected 
and unnatural MORALITIES, and other plays of the same character, 
which do not deserve the name of comedy. The drama would appear 
to advantage, did it but resume its proper state and ancient dignity. 
We have, however, some tragedies in French learnedly translated, 
among which is the HECUBA of Euripides by Lazare de Ba'if," &c. d 
Of rhyme the same writer says, " S'il n'etoit question que de parler 
ornement, il ne faudroit sinon ecrire en prose, ou s'il n'etoit question 

y Bibl. Fr. 361. He mentions another b By Jean de Tournes. 8vo. 

edition in 1539. Both at Paris. 12mo. c Ch. de 1'Ode. 

z In 16mo. d Ch. de la Comedie et de la Tragedie. 

a Liv. ii. ch. viii. At the end of Si- See also, to the same purpose, Collettet 

bilet's work is a critical piece of Quintil Sur la poesie morale, and Guillaume des 

against Ch. Fontaine, first printed sepa- Autels, Repos d'un plus grand travail. 
rately at Paris, 1538. 16mo. 


que de rimer, il ne faudroit, sinon rimer en farceur : mais en poesie, 
il faut faire tous les deux, et BIEN DIRE, et BIEN RIMER e ." His chap- 
ters on IMITATION and TRANSLATION have much more philosophy and 
reflection than are to be expected for his age, and certain observations 
which might edify modern critics f . Nor must I forget, that Pelletier 
also published a French translation of Horace's ART OF POETRY at 
Paris in 1545 g . I presume, that Joachim du Bellay's Defense et Illus- 
tration de la LANGUE FRANCOISE was published at no great distance 
from the year 1550. He has the same just notion of the drama. " As 
to tragedies and comedies, if kings and states would restore them in 
their ancient glory, which has been usurped by farces and MORALITIES, 
I am of opinion that you would lend your assistance ; and if you wish 
to adorn our language, you know where to find models V 

The Italian vernacular criticism began chiefly in commentaries and 
discourses on the language and phraseology of Dante, Petrarch, and 
Boccace. I believe one of the first of that kind is, " Le tre fontane 
di Nicolo Liburnio sopra la grammatica, e 1'eloquenza di Dante, del 
Petrarcha, e del Boccacio. In Venezia, per Gregorio Gregori, 1526 1 ." 
Numerous expositions, lectures, annotations, and discourses of the same 
sort, especially on Dante's Inferno, and the Florentine dialect, appeared 
soon afterwards. Immediately after the publication of their respective 
poems, Ariosto, whose ORLANDO FURIOSO was styled the nuova poesia, 
and Tasso, were illustrated or expounded by commentators more intri- 
cate than their text. One of the earliest of these is, " Sposizione de 
Simon Fornari da Reggio sopra 1'Orlando Furioso di Ludovico Ariosto. 
In Firenze per Lorenzo Torrentino 154-9 k ." Perhaps the first criticism 
on what the Italians call the Volgar Lingua is by Pietro Bembo, " Prose 
di Pietro Bembo della volgar Lingua divise in tre libri. In Firenze 
per Lorenzo Torrentino, 154-9 1 ." But the first edition seems to have 
been in 1525. This subject was discussed in an endless succession of 
Regole grammatically Osservazioni, Avvertimenti, and Ragionamenti. 
Here might also be mentioned, the annotations, although they are alto- 
gether explanatory, which often accompanied the early translations of 
the Greek and Latin classics into Italian. But I resign this labyrinth 
of research to the superior opportunities and abilities of the French 
and Italian antiquaries in their native literature. To have said nothing 
on the subject might have been thought an omission, and to have said 
more, impertinent. I therefore return to our own poetical annals. 

Our three great poets, Chaucer, Gower, and Lydgate, seem to have 
maintained their rank, and to have been in high reputation, during the 
period of which we are now treating. Splendid impressions of large 

e Liv. ii. ch. i. De la Rime. * In quarto. Again, per Marchio Sessa, 

f See liv. i. ch.v. and vi. 1534. 8vo. 

E Par Michel Vascosan. 8vo. k In 8vo. The Seconde Partie appeared 

h Liv. ii. ch.iv. ibid. 1550. 8vo. 

1 In quarto. 


works were at this time great undertakings. A sumptuous edition of 
Gower's CONFESSIO AMANTIS was published by Berthelette in 1554-. 
On the same ample plan, in 1555, Robert Braham printed with great 
accuracy, and a diligent investigation of the ancient copies, the first 
correct edition of Lydgate's TROYBOKE m . I have before incidentally 
remarked", that Nicholas Briggam, a polite scholar, a student at Ox- 
ford and at the Inns of Court, and a writer of poetry, in the year 1555, 
deposited the bones of Chaucer under a new tomb, erected at his own 
cost, and inscribed with a new epitaph, in the chapel of bishop Blase in 
Westminster abbey, which still remains . Wilson, as we have just seen 
in a citation from his RHETORIC, records an anecdote, that the more 
accomplished and elegant courtiers were perpetually quoting Chaucer. 
Yet this must be restricted to the courtiers of Edward the Sixth. And 
indeed there is a peculiar reason why Chaucer, exclusive of his real 
excellence, should have been the favourite of a court which laid the 
foundations of the reformation of religion. It was, that his poems 
abounded with satirical strokes against the corruptions of the church, 
and the dissolute manners of the monks. And undoubtedly Chaucer 
long before, a lively and popular writer, greatly assisted the doctrines 
of his cotemporary Wickliffe, in opening the eyes of the people to the 
absurdities of popery, and exposing its impostures in a vein of humour 
and pleasantry. Fox the martyrologist, a weak and a credulous com- 
piler, perhaps goes too far in affirming, that Chaucer has undeniably 
proved the pope to be the antichrist of the apocalypse P. 

Of the reign of queen Mary we are accustomed to conceive every 
thing that is calamitous and disgusting ; but when we turn our eyes 
from its political evils to the objects which its literary history presents, 
a fair and flourishing scene appears. In this prospect, the mind feels 
a repose from contemplating the fates of those venerable prelates, who 
suffered the most excruciating death for the purity and inflexibility of 
their faith ; and whose unburied bodies, dissipated in ashes, and un- 
distinguished in the common mass, have acquired a more glorious 
monument, than if they had been interred in magnificent shrines, 
which might have been visited by pilgrims, loaded with superstitious 
gifts, and venerated with the pomp of mistaken devotion. 

ra Nothing can be more incorrect than Fame, in Caxton's Chaucer. Wood says, 
the first edition in 1513. that Briggam " exercised his muse much 
n See supr. vol. ii. p. 263. in poetry, and took great delight in the 
Undoubtedly Chaucer was originally works of Jeffrey Chaucer; for whose 
buried in this place. Leland cites a Latin memory he had so great a respect, that 
elegy, or Ncenia, of thirty-four lines, which he removed his bones into the south cross- 
he says was composed by Stephanus Suri- ile or transept of S. Peter's church," &c. 
gonius of Milan, at the request of William Ath. Oxon. i. 130. I do not apprehend 
Caxton the printer; and which, Leland there was any removal, in this case, from 
adds, was written on a white tablet by one part of the abbey to another. Chau- 
Surigonius, on a pillar near Chaucer's cer's tomb has appropriated this aisle, or 
grave in the south aisle at Westminster. transept, to the sepulture or to the ho- 
Script.Brit. GALFRID. CHAUCERUS. See norary monuments of our poets. 
Caxton's Epilogue to Chaucer's Booke of p Tom. ii. p. 42. edit. 1684. 





Sackville s Gorboduc. Our first regular tragedy. Its fable, conduct, 
characters, and style. Its defects. Dumb -show. Sackville not 
assisted by Norton. 

THE first poem which presents itself at the commencement of the reign 
of queen Elizabeth, is the play of GORBODUC, written by Thomas 
Sackville lord Buckhurst, the original contriver of the MIRROUR FOR 
MAGISTRATES*. Thomas Norton, already mentioned as an associate 
with Sternhold and Hopkins in the metrical version of David's Psalms, 
is said to have been his coadjutor b . 

It is no part of my plan, accurately to mark the progress of our 
drama, much less to examine the merit of particular plays. But as 
this piece is perhaps the first specimen in our language of an heroic 
tale, written in blank verse, divided into acts and scenes, and clothed 
in all the formalities of a regular tragedy, it seems justly to deserve 
a more minute and a distinct discussion in this general view of our 

It was first exhibited in the great Hall of the Inner Temple, by the 
students of that Society, as part of the entertainment of a grand Christ- 
mas*, and afterwards before queen Elizabeth at Whitehall, on the eight- 

a It is scarcely worth observing, that 
one Thomas Brice, at the accession of 
Elizabeth, printed in English metre a 
Register of the Martyrs and Confessors 
under queen Mary, Lond. for R. Adams, 
1559, 8vo. I know not how far Fox 
might profit by this work. I think he 
has hot mentioned it. In the Stationers' 
Registers, in 1567, were entered to Henry 
Binneman, Songes and Sonnetts by Thomas 
Brice. Ilegistr. A. fol. 164 a. I have 
never seen the book. In 1570, an elegy, 
called " An epitaph on Mr. Bryce preach- 
er " occurs, licensed to John Aide. Ibid, 
fol. 205 b. Again, we have the Court of 
Venus, I suppose a ballad, MORALISED, in 
1566, by Thomas Bryce, for Hugh Sin- 
gleton. Ibid. fol. 156 a. 

Brice, at the end of his Metrical 
" Register," has a poem of the ballad 
kind, which he calls " The Wishes of the 

It begins : 

When shal this time of travail cease, 

Which we with wo sustayne 1 
When shal the dales of rest and peace 

Returne to us againe ? 

Before his Register he expresses an 

earnest wish and desire, that " the au- 
thour and endightynge were halfe so 
worthye as the matter, that it myght bee 
conveyed and delyvered to the Queues 
Majesties owne handes." PARK.] 

b Seep. 149 of this volume. See Preface 
to Gorboduc, edit. 1571. Strype says, 
that Thomas Norton was a clergyman, a 
puritan, a man of parts and learning, well 
known to secretary Cecil and archbishop 
Parker, and that he was suspected, but 
without foundation, of writing an answer 
to Whitgift's book against the puritans, 
published in 1572. Life of Parker, p. 
364. Life of Whitgift, p. 28. I forgot to 
mention before, that Norton has a copy 
of recommendatory verses prefixed to 
Turner's Preservative, a tract against the 
Pelagians, dedicated to Hugh Latimer, 
printed Lond. 1551. 12mo. In the Con- 
ferences in the Tower with Campion tHe 
Jesuit, in 1581, one Norton, but not our 
author, seems to have been employed as 
a notary. See " A true Reporte of the 
Disputation," &c. Lond. 1583. bi. lett. 
4to. Signat A a. iij. 

* [See a description of the magnificent 
celebration of that festival in Dugdale's 
Origines Juridicales, p. 150, PARK.] 


centh day of January in 1561. It was never intended for the press; 
but being surreptitiously and very carelessly printed in 1565, an exact 
edition, with the consent and under the inspection of the authors, ap- 
peared in 1571, in black letter, thus entitled: "The TRAGIDIE OF 
FERREX AND PORREX, set forth without addition or alteration, but al- 
together as the same was showed on stage before the queenes Majestie 
about nine yeare past, viz. The xviij day of Januarie, 1561. By the 
gentlemen of the Inner Temple. Seen and allowed, &c. Imprinted at 
London by John Daye dwelling ouer Aldersgate." It has no date, nor 
notation of pages, and contains only thirty-one leaves in small octavo . 
In the edition of 1565, it is called the TRAGEDIE or GORBODUC. The 
whole title of that edition runs thus : " The Tragedie of GORBODUC, 
whereof three actes were wrytten by Thomas Nortone and the two laste 
by Thomas Sackvyle. Sett forthe as the same was shewed before the 
queenes most excellent maiestie in her highnes court of Whitehall, the 
18 Jan. 1561. By the gentlemen of thynner Temple in London. Sept. 
22, 1565." Printed by William Griffith at the sign of the falcon in 
Fleet-street, in quarto d . I have a most incorrect black lettered copy 
in duodecimo, without title, but with the printer's monogram in the last 
page, I suspect of 1569, which once belonged to Pope 6 , and from which 
the late Mr. Spence most faithfully printed a modern edition of the tra- 
gedy in the year 1736. I believe it was printed before that of 1571, 
for it retains all the errors of Griffith's first or spurious edition of 1565. 
In the Preface prefixed to the edition of 1571, is the following passage : 
" Where [whereas] this tragedy was for furniture of part of the grand 
Christmasse in the Inner-temple, first written about nine years ago by 
the right honourable Thomas now lord Buckhurst, and by T. Norton; 
and afterwards showed before her maiestie, and neuer intended by the 
authors thereof to be published : Yet one W. G. getting a copie thereof 
at some young mans hand, that lacked a little money and much discre- 
tion, in the last great plague anno 1565, about fiue yeares past, while 
the said lord was out of England, and T. Norton far out of London, and 
neither of them both made priuy, put it forth exceedingly corrupted," 

c For the benefit of those who wish to A On the books of the Stationers, " The 

gain a full and exact information about this Tragedie of Gorboduc where iij actes were 

edition, so as to distinguish it from all the written by Thomas Norton and the laste 

rest, I will here exhibit the arrangement by Thomas Sackvyle," is entered in 1565- 

of the lines of the title-page. " The Tra- 6, with William Griffiths. Registr. A. fol. 

gidie of Ferrex | and Porrex, [ set forth 132 b. 

without addition or alte- [ ration but al- e In the year 1717, my father, then a 

together as the same was shewed | on fellow of Magdalene college at Oxford, 

stage before the queenes maiestie, | about gave this copy to Mr. Pope, as appears by 

nine yeares past, vz. the [ xviij daie of a letter of Pope to R. Digby, dated Jun. 

Januarie, 1561. by the Gentlemen of the 2, 1717. See Pope's Letters, vol. ix. p. 

(Inner Temple. 1 Seen and allowed Sec. 39. edit. 12mo. 1754. "Mr. Warton 

Imprinted at London by | John Daye, forced me to take Gorboduc," &c. Pope 

dwelling ouer Aldersgate." With the Bod- gave it to the late bishop Warburton, 

leian copy of this edition, are bound up who gave it to me about ten years ago, 

four pamphlets against the papists by Tho- 1770. 
mas Norton. 


&c. W. G. is William Griffith, the printer in Fleet-street, above men- 
tioned. Mr. Garrick had another old quarto edition, printed by Aide, 
in 1590. 

These are the circumstances of the fable of this tragedy. Gorboduc, 
a king of Britain about six hundred years before Christ, made in his 
life-time a division of his kingdom to his sons Ferrex and Porrex. The 
two young princes within five years quarreled for universal sovereignty. 
A civil war ensued, and Porrex slew his elder brother Ferrex. Their 
mother Viden, who loved Ferrex best, revenged his death by entering 
Porrex's chamber in the night, and murthering him in his sleep. The 
people, exasperated at the cruelty and treachery of this murther, rose in 
rebellion, and killed both Viden and Gorboduc. The nobility then 
assembled, collected an army, and destroyed the rebels. An intestine 
war commenced between the chief lords ; the succession of the crown 
became uncertain and arbitrary, for want of the lineal royal issue ; and 
the country, destitute of a king, and wasted by domestic slaughter, was 
reduced to a state of the most miserable desolation. 

In the dramatic conduct of this tale, the unities of time and place are 
eminently and visibly violated ; a defect which Shakspeare so frequently 
commits, but which he covers by the magic of his poetry. The greater 
part of this long and eventful history is included in the representation. 
But in a story so fertile of bloodshed, no murther is committed on the 
stage. It is worthy of remark, that the death of Porrex in the bed- 
chamber is only related. Perhaps the players had not yet learned to 
die, nor was the poniard so essential an article as at present among the 
implements of the property-room. Nor is it improbable, that to kill a 
man on the stage was not now avoided as a spectacle shocking to hu- 
manity, but because it was difficult and inconvenient to be represented. 
The writer has followed the series of facts related in the chronicles 
without any material variation, or fictitious embarrassments, and with 
the addition only of a few necessary and obvious characters. 

There is a Chorus of Four Ancient and Sage Men of Britain, who 
regularly close every act, the last excepted, with an ode in long-lined 
stanzas, drawing back the attention of the audience to the substance of 
what has just passed, and illustrating it by recapitulatory moral reflec- 
tions, and poetical or historical allusions. Of these the best is that 
which terminates the fourth act, in which prince Porrex is murthered 
by his mother Viden. These are the two first stanzas. 

When greedie lust m royall seat to reigne, 
Hath reft all care of goddes, and eke of men, 
And Cruell Heart, Wrath, Treason, and Disdaine, 
Within th' ambicious breast are lodged, then 
Behold howe MISCHIEFE wide herselfe displaies, 
And with the brothers hand the brother slaies I 



When blood thus shed doth staine the heauens face, 

Crying to Joue for vengeaunce of the deede, 

The mightie god euen moueth from his place, 

With wrath to wreak. Then sendes he forth with spede 

The dreadful Furies, daughters of the night, 

With serpents girt, carrying the whip of ire, 

With haire of stinging snakes, and shining bright, 

With flames and blood, and with a brande of fire. 

These for reuenge of wretched murder done 

Do make the mother kill her orielie son I 

Blood asketh blood, and death must death requite : 
Joue, by his iust and euerlasting doom, 
Justly hath euer so required it, &c. f 

In the imagery of these verses, we discern no faint traces of the hand 
which drew the terrible guardians of hell-gate, in the INDUCTION to 

The moral beauties and the spirit of the following ode, which closes 
the third act, will perhaps be more pleasing to many readers. 

The lust of kingdom B knowes no sacred faithe, 
No rule of reason, no regarde of right, 
No kindlie loue, no feare of heauens wrathe : 
But with contempt of goddes, and man's despight, 

Through blodie slaughter doth prepare the waies 
To fatall scepter, and accursed reigne : 
The sonne so lothes the fathers lingerynge daies, 
Ne dreads his hande in brothers blode to staine I 

O wretched prince ! ne dost thou yet recorde 
The yet fressh murthers done within the lande, 
Of thie forefathers, when the cruell sworde 
Bereft Morgain his liefe with cosyn's hande ? 

Thus fatall plagues pursue the giltie race, 
Whose murderous hand, imbrued with giltles bloode, 
Askes vengeaunce still h , before the heauens face, 
With endles mischiefes on the cursed broode. 

The wicked child thus 1 bringes to wofull sier 
The mournefull plaintes, to waste his wery k life : 
Thus do the cruell flames of civyll fier 
Destroye the parted reigne with hatefull strife: 
And hence doth spring the well, from which doth flo 
The dead black streames of mourning 1 , plaint, and wo. m 

f Act iv. sc. ult. k ' very,' a worse reading, in edit. 1571. 

* 'kingdoms,' edit. 1565. ' 'mournings,' edit. 1565. 
fc 'still,' omitt. edit. 1565. m Act iii. sc. ult. 

* 'this,' edit. 1565. 


Every act is introduced, as was the custom in our old plays, with a 
piece of machinery called the DUMB Snow, shadowing by an allego- 
rical exhibition the matter that was immediately to follow. In the con- 
struction of this spectacle and its personifications, much poetry and 
imagination was often displayed. It is some apology for these prefigu- 
rations, that they were commonly too mysterious and obscure, to fore- 
stal the future events with any degree of clearness and precision. Not 
that this mute mimicry was always typical of the ensuing incidents. It 
sometimes served for a compendious introduction of such circumstances 
as could not commodiously be comprehended within the bounds of the 
representation. It sometimes supplied deficiencies, and covered the want 
of business. Our ancestors were easily satisfied with this artificial sup- 
plement of one of the most important unities, which abundantly filled 
up the interval that was necessary to pass, while a hero was expected 
from the Holy Land, or a princess was imported, married, and brought 
to bed. In the mean time, the greater part of the audience were pro- 
bably more pleased with the emblematical pageantry than the poetical 
dialogue, although both were alike unintelligible. 

I will give a specimen in the DOMME SHEWE preceding the fourth 
act. " First, the musick of howeboies began to plaie. Duringe whiche, 
there came forth from vnder the stage, as thoughe out of hell, three 
Furies, ALECTO, MEGERA, and CTESiPHONE n , clad in blacke garments 
sprinkled with bloud and flames, their bodies girt with snakes, their heds 
spread with serpents instead of heare, the one bearing in her hande a 
snake, the other a whip, and the thirde a burning firebrande: eche 
driuynge before them a kynge and a queene, which moued by Furies 
vnnaturally had slaine their owne children. The names of the kinges 
and queenes were these, TANTALUS, MEDEA, ATHAMAS, INO, CAM- 
BISES, ALTHEA. After that the Furies, and these, had passed aboute 
the stage thrise, they departed, and then the musicke ceased. Hereby 
was signified the vnnaturall murders to followe, that is to saie, Porrex 
slaine by his owne mother ; and of king Gorboduc and queene Viden 
killed by their owne subjectes." Here, by the way, the visionary pro- 
cession of kings and queens long since dead, evidently resembles our 
author Sackville's original model of the MIRROUR FOR MAGISTRATES; 
and, for the same reason, reminds us of a similar train of royal spectres 
in the tent-scene of Shakspeare's KING RICHARD THE THIBD. 

I take this opportunity of expressing my surprise, that this ostensible 
comment of the Dumb Show should not regularly appear in the trage- 
dies of Shakspeare. There are even proofs that he treated it with con- 
tempt and ridicule. Although some critics are of opinion, that because 
it is never described in form at the close or commencement of his acts, 
it was therefore never introduced. Shakspeare's aim was to collect an 
audience, and for this purpose all the common expedients were neces- 

n Tisiphone. 


sary. No dramatic writer of his age has more battles or ghosts. His 
representations abound with the usual appendages of mechanical terror, 
and he adopts all the superstitions of the theatre. This problem can 
only be resolved into the activity or the superiority of a mind, which 
either would not be entangled by the formality, or which saw through 
the futility, of this unnatural and extrinsic ornament. It was not by 
declamation or by pantomime that Shakspeare was to fix his eternal 
dominion over the hearts of mankind. 

To return to Sackville. That this tragedy was never a favorite 
among our ancestors, and has long fallen into general oblivion, is to 
be attributed to the nakedness and uninteresting nature of the plot, 
the tedious length of the speeches, the want of a discrimination of cha- 
racter, and almost a total absence of pathetic or critical situations. It 
is true that a mother kills her own son. But this act of barbarous and 
unnatural impiety, to say nothing of its almost unexampled atrocity in 
the tender sex, proceeds only from a brutal principle of sudden and 
impetuous revenge. It is not the consequence of any deep machina- 
tion, nor is it founded in a proper preparation of previous circum- 
stances. She is never before introduced to our notice as a wicked or 
designing character. She murthers her son Porrex, because in the 
commotions of a civil dissension, in self-defence, after repeated provo- 
cations, and the strongest proofs of the basest ingratitude and treachery, 
he had slain his rival brother, not without the deepest compunction and 
remorse for what he had done. A mother murthering a son is a fact 
which must be received with horror ; but it required to be complicated 
with other motives, and prompted by a co-operation of other causes, to 
rouse our attention, and work upon our passions. I do not mean that 
any other motive could have been found, to palliate a murther of such 
a nature. Yet it was possible to heighten and to divide the distress, by 
rendering this bloody mother, under the notions of human frailty, an 
object of our Compassion as well as of our abhorrence. But perhaps 
these artifices were not yet known or wanted. The general story of 
the play is great in its political consequences ; and the leading inci- 
dents are important, but not sufficiently intricate to awaken our curi- 
osity, and hold us in suspense. Nothing is perplexed and nothing un- 
ravelled. The opposition of interests is such as does not affect our 
nicer feelings. In the plot of a play, our pleasure arises in proportion 
as our expectation is excited. 

Yet it must be granted, that the language of GORBODUC* has great 

[* Rymer termed Gorboduc " a fable Pope also observed, that " the writers of 

better turn'd for tragedy than any on this the succeeding age might have improved 

side the Alps, in the time of lord Buck- by copying from this drama, a propriety 

hurst, and might have been a better direc- in the sentiments and dignity in the sen- 

tion to Shakspeare and Ben Jonson, than tences, and an unaffected perspicuity of 

any guide they have had the luck to fol- style, which are essential to tragedy." 

low." Short View of Tragedy, p. 84. Mr. Yet Dryden and Oldham both spoke con- 


purity and perspicuity; and that it is entirely free from that tumid 
phraseology, which does not seem to have taken place till play-writing 
had become a trade, and our poets found it their interest to captivate 
the multitude by the false sublime, and by those exaggerated imageries 
and pedantic metaphors, which are the chief blemishes of the scenes of 
Shakspeare, and which are at this day mistaken for his capital beauties 
by too many readers. Here also we perceive another and a strong 
reason why this play was never popular *. 

Sir Philip Sydney, in his admirable DEFENCE OF POESIE, remarks, 
that this tragedy is full of notable moralitie. But tragedies are not to 
instruct us by the intermixture of moral sentences, but by the force of 
example, and the effect of the story. In the first act, the three coun- 
sellors are introduced debating about the division of the kingdom in 
long and elaborate speeches, which are replete with political advice 
and maxims of civil prudence. But this stately sort of declamation, 
whatever eloquence it may display, and whatever policy it may teach, 
is undramatic, unanimated, and unaffecting. Sentiment and argument 
will never supply the place of action upon the stage ; not to mention, 
that these grave harangues have some tincture of the formal modes of 
address, and the ceremonious oratory, which were then in fashion. But 
we must allow, that in the strain of dialogue in which they are profess- 
edly written, they have uncommon merit, even without drawing an 
apology in their favour from their antiquity ; and that they contain 
much dignity, strength of reflection, and good sense, couched in clear 
expression and polished numbers. I shall first produce a specimen 
from the speech of Arostus, who is styled a Counsellor to the King, 
and who is made to defend a specious yet perhaps the least rational 
side of the question. 

And in your lyfe, while you shall so beholde 
Their rule, their vertues, and their noble deedes, 
Such as their kinde behighteth to vs all ; 
Great be the profites that shall growe thereof: 
Your age in quiet shall the longer last, 
Your lastinge age shall be their longer staie : 
For cares of kynges, that rule, as you haue rulde, 

temptuously of this piece, and apparently this reason enough for Shakspeare, whose 

without having perused it ; since they sup- only endeavours were populo ut placerent 

posed Gorboduc to have been a female, quas fecisset falulas, to take another 

and the former calls it the tragedy of course ? Had Shakspeare ever stretched 

" Queen Gorboduc." See Scott's Edit, of his views to fame and posterity, he would 

his Works, ii. 118; and Biog. Dram. ii. at least have printed some of his plays. 

238. PARK.] But it is not easy to conceive how a man 

* [If Shakspeare could not of himself can write for a future generation. It is 

find out what was natural and right in not in his power to know what they will 

language and sentiment, Gorboduc might like ; though he may be able to please 

have taught him. But Mr. Warton sup- his contemporaries, by giving them what 

poses that what we now reckon a beauty they have been accustomed to approve. 

and merit, was a strong reason why Gor- ASHBY.] 
boduc never became popular. Was not 


For publique wealth, and not for private ioye, 
Do waste mannes lyfe, and hasten crooked age, 
With furrowed face, and with enfeebled lymmes, 
To drawe on creepynge Death a swifter pace. 
They two, yet yonge, shall beare the parted regne 
With greater ease, than one, now olde, alone, 
Can welde the whole : for whom, muche harder is 
With lessened strength the double weight to beare. 
Your age, your counsell, and the graue regarde 
Of father?, yea of suche a fathers name, 
Nowe at beginning of their sondred reigne, 
When is 1 the hazarde of their whole successe, 
Shall bridle so the force of youthfull heates, 
And so restraine the rage of insolence 
Whiche most assailes the yong and noble minds, 
And so shall guide and traine in tempred staie 
Their yet greene bending wittes with reuerent awe, 
As r now inured with vertues at the first. 
Custom, O king, shall bringe delightfulnes : 
By vse of vertue, vice shall growe in hate. 
But if you so dispose it, that the daye 
Which endes your life, shal first begin their reigne, 
Great is the perill. What will be the ende, 
When suche beginning of suche liberties 
Voide of suche stayes 8 as in your life do lye, 
Shall leaue them free to random* of their will, 
An open prey to traiterous flattery, 
The greatest pestilence of noble youthe : 
Which perill shal be past, if in your life, 
Their tempred youth, with aged fathers awe, 
Be brought in vre of skilfull staiedness, &c. u 

From an obsequious complaisance to the king, who is present, the 
topic is not agitated with that opposition of opinion and variety of ar- 
guments which it naturally suggests, and which would have enlivened 
the disputation and displayed diversity of character. But Eubulus, the 
king's secretary, declares his sentiments with some freedom, and seems 
to be the most animated of all our three political orators. 

To parte your realme vnto my lords your sonnes, 
I think not good, for you, ne yet for them, 
But worst of all for this our native land : 
Within w one lande one single rule is best. 

'partie,' edit. 1565. s 'states,' edit. 1565. 

1 'fathers,' edit. 1565. t < to f ree ran don,' edit. 1565. 

41 'it is,' edit. 1565. u Act i. sc. 2. 

* 'and,' edit. 1565. w 'for with,' edit. 1565. 


Diuided reignes do make diuided hartes, 

But peace preserues the countrey and the prince. 

Suche is in man the gredie minde to reigne, 

So great is his desire to climbe aloft 

In worldly stage the stateliest partes to beare, 

That faith, and iustice, and all kindly x loue, 

Do yelde vnto desire of soueraigntie, 

Where egall state doth raise an egall hope, 

To winne the thing that either wold attaine. 

Your grace remembreth, howe in passed yeres 

The mightie Brute, first prince of all this lande, 

Possessed the same, and ruled it well in one : 

He thinking that the compasse did suffice, 

For his three sonnes three kingdoms eke to make, 

Cut it in three, as you would nowe in twaine : 

But how much British? blod hath since 2 been spilt, 

What princes slaine before their timely hour a , 

To ioyne againe the sondred vnitie ? 

What wast of townes and people in the lande ? 

What treasons heaped on murders and on spoiles ? 

Whose iust reuenge euen yet is scarcely ceased, 

Ruthfull remembraunce is yet raw b in minde, &c. c 

The illustration from Brutus is here both apposite and poetical. 

Spence, with a reference to the situation of the author lord Buck- 
hurst in the court of queen Elizabeth, has observed in his preface to 
the modern edition of this tragedy, that " 'tis no wonder, if the lan- 
guage of kings and statesmen should be less happily imitated by a poet 
than a privy counsellor*." This is an insinuation that Shakspeare, who 
has left many historical tragedies, was less able to conduct some parts 
of a royal story than the statesman lord Buckhurst. But I will venture 
to pronounce, that whatever merit there is in this play, and particularly 
in the speeches we have just been examining, it is more owing to the 
poet than the privy counsellor. If a first minister was to write a tra- 
gedy, I believe the piece will be the better, the less it has of the first 

x natural. Caroline was fond of talking to learned 

y ' brutish,' edit. 1565. men. One day she was earnest with bishop 

z 'sithence,' edit. 1565. Gibson to tell her, which he liked best, 

B ' honour,' edit. 1565. tragedy or comedy. The bishop parried 

b 'had,' edit. 1565. c Act i. sc. 2. the question by alleging he had not read 

* [If Norton wrote the first three acts or seen any thing of that kind a long while. 

of Gorboduc, as the title-page of 156j sets The queen still persisting in her inquiry, 

forth, and the later edition dots not con- he said, " Though 1 cannot answer your 

tradict (supra, p. 29P.), then the excel- majesty's question, yet your majesty can 

lence of the speech above cited from act i. inform me in one particular that nobody 

cannot have arisen from its being penned else can." She expressed great readiness 

by a privy-counseilor. Could Richelieu to do so, and he added, " Pray, do kings 

write so good a tragedy as Corneille or and queens, when alone, talk such fine 

Racine ? asks Mr. Ashby, while he relates language as on the stage?" This was 

the following anecdote in reply. Queen enough. PARK.] 


minister. When a statesman turns poet, I should not wish him to fetch 
his ideas or his language from the cabinet. I know not why a king 
should be better qualified than a private man to make kings talk in 
blank verse. 

The chaste elegance of the following description of a region abound- 
ing in every convenience, will gratify the lover of classical purity. 

Yea, and that half, which in d abounding store 
Of things that serue to make a welthie realme, 
In statelie cities, and in frutefull soyle*, 
In temperate breathing of the milder heauen, 
In thinges of nedeful vse, whiche friendlie sea 
Transportes by traffike from the forreine partes e , 
In flowing wealth, in honour and in force, &c. f 

The close of Marcella's narration of the murther of Porrex by the 
queen, which many poets of a more enlightened age would have ex- 
hibited to the spectators, is perhaps the most moving and pathetic 
speech in the playf. The reader will observe, that our author, yet to 
a good purpose, has transferred the ceremonies of the tournament to 
the court of an old British king. 

O queene of adamante ! O marble breaste ; 

If not the fauour of his comelie face, 

If not his princelie chere and countenaunce, 

His valiant active armes, his manlie breaste, 

If not his faier and semelie personage, 

His noble lymmes in suche proporcion * caste, 

As would have wrapped 11 a sillie womans thought, 

If this mought not haue moued thy 1 bloodie harte, 

And that most cruell hande, the wretched weapon 

Euen to let fall, and kisse k him in the face, 

With teares for ruthe to reaue suche one by death : 

Should nature yet consent to slaye her sonne ? 

O mother thou, to murder thus thie childe ! 

Euen Joue, with Justice, must with lightening flames 

From heauen send downe some strange reuenge on thee. 

d ' within,' edit. 1565. which are superior to it in tenderness and 

* [Though the country is represented as simplicity." Preface to the Orig. of the 

fruitful, yet imports only are mentioned. Eng. Drama, p. x. PARK.] 
This was precisely the case of England B In the edition of 1565, this word is 

then. See Compendious Examination by preparation. I mention this, as a speci- 

W. S. ASHBY.] men of the great incorrectness of that edi- 

e 'portes,' edit. 1565. tion. 

f Act ii. sc. 1 . h wrapped, rapt, i. e. ravished. I 

\ [This speech had before been com- once conjectured warped. We have 

mended as very much in the manner of " wrapped in wo." Act iv. sc. 2. 
the ancients by Mr. Hawkins, who adds : ' ' the,' edit. 1565. 

"There are few narrations of Euripides, k 'kiste,' edit. 1565. 

not excepting even that in the Alcestis, 


Ah ! noble prince, how oft have I beheld 
Thee mounted on thy fierce and traumpling stede, 
Shyning in armour bright before thy tylte, 
And with thy mistresse' sleaue tied on thy helme, 
And charge thy staffe, to please thy ladies eie, 
That bowed the head peece of thy frendly foe ? 
Howe oft in armes on horse to bende the mace? 1 
How oft in arms on foote to breake the sworde ? 
Which neuer now these eyes may see againe! m 

Marcella, the only lady in the play except the queen, is one of the 
maids of honour ; and a modern writer of tragedy would have made 
her in love with the young prince who is murthered. 

The queen laments the loss of her eldest and favorite son, whose de- 
feat and death had just been announced, in the following soliloquy. 
The ideas are too general, although happily expressed : but there is 
some imagination in her wishing the old massy palace had long ago 
fallen, and crushed her to death. 

Why should I lyue, and lynger forth my time 
In longer liefe, to double my distresse ? 
O me most wofull wight, whome no mishap 
Long ere this daie could haue bereued hence ! 
Mought not these handes, by fortune or by fate, 
Haue perst this brest, and life with iron reft ? 
Or in this pallaice here, where I so longe 
Haue spent my daies, could not that happie houre 
Ones, ones, haue hapt, in which these hugie frames 
With death by fall might haue oppressed me ? 
Or should not this most hard and cruell soile, 
So oft where I haue prest my wretched steps, 
Somtyme had ruthe of myne accursed liefe, 
To rend in twaine, and swallowe me therin ? 
So had my bones possessed nowe in peace 
Their happie graue within the closed grounde, 
And greadie wormes had gnawen this pyned hart 
Without my feelynge paine ! So should not nowe 
This lyvynge brest remayne the ruthefull tombe 
Wherein my hart, yelden to dethe, is graued, &c. n 

There is some animation in these imprecations of prince Ferrex upon 
his own head, when he protests that he never conceived any malicious 
design, or intended any injury, against his brother Porrex. 

The wrekefull gods poure on my cursed head 
Eternall plagues, and neuer dyinge woes ! 

1 the shaft of the lance. n Activ. sc. 1. 

111 Act iv. sc. 2. Act ii. sc. 1. 


The hellish prince p adiuclge my dampned ghoste 
To Tantales 1 * thirste, or proude Ixions wheele, 
Or cruel gripe r , to gnaw my growing harte ; 
To durynge tormentes and vnquenched flames ; 
If euer I conceiued so foule a thought, 
To wishe his ende of life, or yet of reigne. 

It must be remembered, that the ancient Britons were supposed to 
be immediately descended from the Trojan Brutus, and that con- 
sequently they were acquainted with the pagan history and mythology. 
Gorboduc has a long allusion to the miseries of the siege of Troy 8 . 

In this strain of correct versification and language, Porrex explains 
to his father Gorboduc the treachery of his brother Ferrex. 

When thus I sawe the knot of loue unknitte ; 
All honest league, and faithfull promise broke, 
The lawe of kind* and trothe thus rent in twaine, 
His hart on mrschiefe set, and in his brest 
Blacke treason hid : then, then did I dispaier 
That euer tyme coulde wynne him frende to me ; 
Then sawe I howe he smyled with slaying knife 
Wrapped vnder cloke, then sawe I depe deceite 
Lurke in his face, and death prepared for mee, &c. u 

As the notions of subordination, of the royal authority, and the di- 
vine institution of kings, predominated in the reign of queen Elizabeth, 
it is extraordinary, that eight lines, inculcating in plain terms the doc- 
trine of passive and unresisting obedience to the prince, which appear- 
ed in the fifth act of the first edition of this tragedy, should have been 
expunged in the edition of 1571, published under the immediate in- 
spection of the authors w . It is well known, that the Calvinists carried 
their ideas of reformation and refinement into government as well as 
religion ;, and it seems probable, that these eight verses were suppress- 
ed by Thomas Norton, Sackville's supposed assistant in the play, who 
was not only an active and I believe a sensible puritan, but a licenser 
of the publication of books under the commission of the bishop of 
London x . 

As to Norton's assistance in this play, it is said on better authority 

p Pluto. to Denham. Registr. Station. B. fol. 185 a. 

q ' Tantalus/ edit, 1565. Also, in the same year, " The picture of 

r The vulture of Prometheus. two pernicious varieties called Prig Pick- 

* Act iii. sc. 1. thank and Clem Clawbacke described by a 
1 nature. peevishe painter." Ibid. fol. 184 a. All 
u Act iv. sc. 2. " under the hands of Mr. Thomas Nor- 
w See Signal. D. V. edit. 1571. ton." Et alibi passim. "The Stage of 

* For instance, "Seven steppes to popishe Toyes, written by T. N." perhaps 
heaven^ also The. seven psalmes reduced the same is licensed to Binneman, Feb. 22, 
into meter by W. Hunnys, The honmj 150. Ibid. fol. 178 a. 

succles," &c. by Hunnys. Nov. 8, 1581, . 




than that of Antony Wood, who supposes GORBODUC to have been in 
old English rhyme, that the three first acts were written by Thomas 
Norton, and the two last by Sackville *. But the force of internal evi- 
dence often prevails over the authority of assertion, a testimony which 
is diminished by time, and may be rendered suspicious from a variety 
of other circumstances. Throughout the whole piece, there is an in- 
variable uniformity of diction and versification. Sackville has two 
poems of considerable length in the MIRROUR FOR MAGISTRATES, 
which fortunately furnish us with the means of comparison : and every 
scene of GORBODUC is visibly marked with his characteristical man- 
ner-j-, which consists in a perspicuity of style, and a command of num- 
bers, superior to the tone of his times y . Thomas Norton's poetry is of 
a very different and a subordinate cast : and if we may judge from his 
share in our metrical psalmody, he seems to have been much more pro- 
perly qualified to shine in the miserable mediocrity of Sternhold's 

* [Could we suppose, that Norton wrote 
the first three acts of Gorboduc, it would 
infinitely diminish Sackville's merit, be- 
cause the design and example must be 
given to the former. Norton might write 
dully, as we find most poets do, on sacred 
subjects ; and with more spirit when left 
to his own invention. Shakspeare him- 
self wrote but dully, in his historic poem 
of Tarquin and Lucrece. Yet it is diffi- 
cult to conceive how Sackville and Nor- 
ton, whose general poetic talents were so 
widely different, could write distinct parts 
of a play, the whole of which should ap- 
pear of uniform merit ; like the famous 
statue made by two sculptors in different 
countries, which so greatly excited the 
wonder of Pliny. ASHBY.] 

f [The reflections of Eubulus at the 
close of the drama on the miseries of 
civil war, are so patriotically interesting, 
that I am impelled to take the occasion 
of placing an extract from them in the 

And thou, O Brittaine ! whilome in re- 

Whilome in wealth and fame, shalt thus 

be torne, 
Dismembred thus, and thus be rent in 

Thus wasted and defaced, spoyled and 

These be the fruites your civil warres 

will bring. 
Hereto it comes, when kinges will not 


To grave advise, but follow wilfull will. 
This is the end, when in fonde princes 


Flattery prevailes, and sage rede * hath 

no place. 
These are the plages, when murder is the 

To make new heires unto the royall 

Thus wreke the gods, when that the 

mother's wrath 
Nought but the blond of her owne childe 

may swage. 
These mischiefes spring when rebells will 


To worke revenge, and judge their prin- 
ces fact. 
This, this ensues, when noble men do 

In loyall trouth, and subjectes will be 

And this doth growe, when loe unto the 

Whom death or sodeine happe of life 

No certaine heire remaines ; such cer- 

taine heire 
As not all onely is the rightfull 

But to the realme is so made knowen 

to be, 
And trouth therby vested in subjectes 

hartes. PARK.] 

y The same may be said of Sackville's 
Sonnet prefixed to Thomas Hoby's 
English version of Castiglio's // Cor- 
tegiano, first printed in 1556. The third 
part, on the behaviour of Court-ladies, 
appears to have been translated in 1551, 
at the request of the marchioness of 

1 advice. 


stanza, and to write spiritual rhymes for the solace of his illuminated 
brethren, than to reach the bold and impassioned elevations of tra- 


Classical drama revived and studied. The Phcenisscz of Euripides 
translated by Gascoigne. Seneca s Tragedies translated. Account 
of the translators) and of their respective versions. Queen Elizabeth 
translates a part of the Hercules Oetceus. 

THIS appearance of a regular tragedy, with the division of acts and 
scenes, and the accompaniment of the ancient chorus, represented both 
at the Middle Temple and at Whitehall, and written by the most accom- 
plished nobleman of the court of queen Elizabeth, seems to have direct- 
ed the attention of our more learned poets to the study of the old clas- 
sical drama, and in a short time to have produced vernacular versions 
of the JOCASTA of Euripides, as it is called, and of the ten Tragedies 
of Seneca. I do not find that it was speedily followed by any original 
compositions on the same legitimate model. 

The JOCASTA of Euripides was translated by George Gascoigne and 
Francis Kinwelmersh, both students of Gray's-inn, and acted in the re- 
fectory of that society, in the year 1566. Gascoigne translated the 
second, third*, and fifth acts, and Kinwelmersh the first and fourth. 
It was printed in Gascoigne's poems, of which more will be said here- 
after, in 1577, under the following title, " JOCASTA, a Tragedie writ- 
ten in Greeke by Euripides. Translated and digested into Acte, by 
George Gascoigne and Francis Kinwelrnershe of Graies inn, and there 
by them presented, An. 1566." The Epilogue was written in quatraines 
by Christopher Yelverton, then one of their brother students. So 
strongly were our audiences still attached to spectacle, that the authors 
did not venture to present their play, without introducing a DUMB 
SHEW at the beginning of every ack For this, however, they had the 
example and authority of GORBODUC. Some of the earliest specimens 
of Inigo Jones's Grecian architecture are marred by Gothic orna- 

It must, however, be observed, that this is by no means a just or 
exact translation of the JOCASTA, that is the PHCENISS^E, of Euripides. 
It is partly a paraphrase, and partly an abridgement, of the Greek 
tragedy. There are many omissions, retrenchments, and transposi- 
tions. The chorus, the characters, and the substance of the story, 

* [This third act has no denotation of its translator, in edit. 1575. PARK.] 


are entirely retained, and the tenor of the dialogue is often preserved 
through whole scenes. Some of the beautiful odes of the Greek chorus 
are neglected, and others substituted in their places, newly written by 
the translators. In the favorite address to Mars a , Gascoigne has totally 
deserted the rich imagery of Euripides, yet has found means to form 
an original ode, which is by no means destitute of pathos or imagina- 

O fierce and furious Mars ! whose harmefull hart 

Reioiceth most to shed the giltlesse blood ; 

Whose headie will doth all the world subvart, 

And doth enuie the pleasant merry mood 

Of our estate, that erst in quiet stood : 

Why dost thou thus our harmlesse towne annoy, 

Whych mighty Bacchus gouerned in ioy? 

Father of warre and death, that doost remoue, 
With wrathfull wrecke, from wofull mothers brest 
The trusty pledges of their tender loue ! 
So graunt the goddes, that for our finall rest 
Dame Venus' pleasant lookes may please thee best : 
Whereby, when thou shalt all amazed stand, 
The sword may fall out of thy trembling hand b : 

And thou mayst proue some other way ful wel 
The bloody prowess of thy mighty speare, 
Wherewith thou raisest from the depth of hel 
The wrathful sprites of all the Furies there ; 
Who, when they wake, do wander euery where, 
And neuer rest to range about the costes, 
T enrich that pit with spoyle of damned ghostes. 

And when thou hast our fields forsaken thus, 
Let cruel DISCORD beare thee company, 
Engirt with snakes and serpents venemous ; 
Euen She, that can with red vermilion die 
The gladsome greene that florisht pleasantly; 
And make the greedy ground a drinking cvp, 
To sup the blood of murdered bodies vp. 

Yet thou returne, O loie, and pleasant Peace ! 
From whence thou didst against our willes depart : 
Ne let thy worthie mind from trauel cease, 
To chase disdayne out of the poysned heart, 
That raysed warre to all our paynes and smart, 

a See Phceniss. p. 140. edit. Barnes. b So Tibullus, where he cautions Mars 

p o\vpoxOos Apns, not to & aze on his Distress, lib. iv. ii. 3. 

Ti 7ro0' at/zart At tu, violente, caveto, 

Kai OavctTip Kare^n, &c. Ne tibi miranti turpitcr anna cadant. 


Euen from the breast of Oedipus his sonne 
Whose swelling pride hath all this iarre begon, &c. c 

I am of opinion, that our translators thought the many mythological 
and historical allusions in the Greek chorus too remote and unintelli- 
gible, perhaps too cumbersome, to be exhibited in English. In the ode 
to CONCORD, which finishes the fourth act, translated by Kinwelmershe, 
there is great elegance of expression and versification. It is not in 

O blissefull CONCORD, bred in sacred brest 

Of hym that rules the restlesse-rolling skie, 

That to the earth, for mans assured rest, 

From height of heauens vouchsafest downe to flie ! 

In thee alone the mightie power doth lie, 

With sweet accorde to keepe the frowning starres, 

And euerie planet els, from hurtful warres. 

In thee, in thee, such noble vertue bydes, 

As may commaund the mightiest gods to bend : 

From thee alone such sugred frendship slydes 

As mortall wights can scarcely comprehend. 

To greatest strife thou setst deliteful end. 

O holy Peace, by thee are only found 

The passing ioyes that euerie where abound I 

Thou only, thou, through thy celestiall might, 

Didst first of all the heauenly pole devide 

From th' old confused heap, that Chaos hight : 

Thou madste the sunne, the moone, the starres, to glyde 

With ordred course, about this world so wyde : 

Thou hast ordaynde Dan Tytans shining light 

By dawne of day to change the darksome night. 

When tract of time returhes the lusty ver d , 
By thee alone the buds and blossoms spring, 
The fields with flours be garnisht euery where ; 
The blooming trees aboundant fruite doe bring, 
The chereful byrdes melodiously doe sing : 
Thou doest appoynt the crop of summers seede, 
For mans releefe, to serue the winters neede. 

Thou dost inspire the hearts of princely peers, 
By prouidence proceeding from aboue, 
In flo wring youth to choose their proper feeres e ; 
With whom they Hue in league of lasting loue, 
Till fearfull death doth flitting life remoue : 
And looke howe fast to death man payes his due I 
So fast agayne doest thou his stock renue. 

c Act ii. sc. ult. d spring. c mates. 


By thee the basest thing aduanced is : 

Thou euery where dost graffe such golden peace, 

As filleth man with more than earthly blisse : 

The earth by thee doth yeelde her sweete increase, 

At beck of thee al bloody discords cease. 

And mightiest realmes in quyet do remayne, 

Whereas thy hand doth hold the royall rayne. 

But if thou fayle, then all things gone to wrack : 

The mother then doth dread her natural childe ; 

Then euery towne is subiect to the sack, 

Then spotles maydes, then virgins be defilde ; 

Then rigour rules, then reason is exilde ; 

And this, thou woful THEBES ! to ovr greate payne, 

With present spoyle art likely to sustayne. 

Methink I heare the waylful-weeping cryes 

Of wretched dames in euery coast resound ! 

Methinks I see, howe vp to heauenly skies, 

From battred walles the thundring- claps rebound : 

Methink I heare howe al things go to ground : 

Methink I see how souldiers wounded lie 

With gasping breath, and yet they cannot die, &c. f 

The constant practice of ending every act with a long ode sung by 
the chorus, seems to have been adopted from GORBODUC&. 

But I will give a specimen of this performance as a translation, from 
that affecting scene, in which Oedipus, blind and exiled from the city, 
is led on by his daughter Antigone, the rival in filial fidelity of Lear's 
Cordelia, to touch the dead and murthered bodies of his queen Jocasta, 
and his sons Eteocles and Polynices. It appears to be the chief fault 
of the translators, that they have weakened the force of the original, 
which consists in a pathetic brevity, by needless dilatations, and the af- 
fectations of circumlocution. The whole dialogue in the original is 
carried on in single lines. Such, however, is the pregnant simplicity of 
the Greek language, that it would have been impossible to have ren- 
dered line for line in English*. 

f Act iv. sc. ult. an act. At the end of the fourth is Com- 

e It may be proper to observe here, that posuit Chr. Nation, or sir Christopher 

the tragedy of Tancred and Gismund, Hatton, undoubtedly the same that was 

acted also before the queen at the Inner afterwards exalted by the queen to the 

Temple, in 1568, has the chorus. The office of lord keeper for his agility in 

title of this play, not printed till 1592, dancing. 

shows the quick gradations of taste. It is * [The Reviewers pronounced Mr. Pot- 
said to be " Newlie revived and polished ter's attempt to preserve this single-line 
according to the decorum of these daies, dialogue, " snip-snap," and insist upon it, 
by R. W. Lond. printed by T. Scarlet, &c. that however agreeable it might appear 
1592." 4to. R. W. is Robert Wilmot, on the Athenian stage, it cannot be borne 
mentioned with applause as a poet in with us. Yet Mr. Hayley not quite un- 
Webbe's Discourse, Signat. C 4. The play successfully has tried it, in some of hia 
was the joint-production of five students rhyming dramas. PARK.] 
of the society. Each seems to have taken 


Daughter, I must commend thy noble heart. 


Father, I will not Hue in company 11 , 
And you alone wander in wildernes. 


yes, dear daughter, leaue thou me alone 
Amid my plagues : be merry while thou mayst. 


And who shall guide these aged feete of yours, 
That banisht beene, in blind necessitie ? 


1 will endure, as fatal lot me driues, 
Resting these crooked sory sides of mine 
Where so the heauens shall lend me harborough. 
And, in exchange of rich and stately towres, 
The woods, the wildernes, the darksome dennes, 
Shall be the boure of mine unhappy bones. 

O father, now where is your glory gone ? 


One happy day did rayse me to renowne, 
One haples day hath throwen mine honor downe. 

Yet wil I beare a part of your mishaps. 

That fitteth not amyd thy pleasant yeres. 

Deare father, yes : let youth geue place to age. 


Where is thy mother? Let me touch her face; 
That with these hands I may yet feele4he harme 
That these blind eyes forbid me to behold. 

Here father, here her corps, here put your hand. 

h I will not marry. 



O wife, O mother ! O, both woful names ! 
O woful mother, and O woful wife ! 
O would to God, alas ! O would to God I 
Thou nere had been my mother, nor my wife ! 
But where now lie the paled bodies two 
Of mine vnluckie sonnes ? O where be they ? 

Lo, here they lie, one by another dead ! 


Stretch out this hand, deare daughter, stretch this hand 
Vpon their faces. 

Lo father, loe, now you do touch them both. 


O bodies deare ! O bodies deerely bought 
Vnto your father ! Bought with hard mishap ! 


O lonely name of my dear Polynice ! 

Why cannot I of cruel Creon crave, 

Ne with my death now purchase thee, a graue ? 


Now comes Apollo's oracle to passe, 
That I in Athens towne should end my dayes. 
And since thou doest, O daughter mine, desire 
In this exile to be my wofull mate, 
Lend me thy hand, and let vs goe together. 


Loe here all prest 1 , my deare beloued father! 
A feeble guyde, and eke a simple scoute, 
To passe the perils in k a doubtful way 1 . 

Vnto the wretched be a wretche guyde. 

In this alonly equall to my father. 

And where shall I set foorth my trembling feete ? . 

' ready. k Read, of. 1 road, path. 



reach me yet some surer staffe, to stay 

My staggering pace amyd these wayes vnknowen. 

Here, father, here, and here, set foorth your feete. 


Nowe can I blame none other for my harmes 
But secret spite of fore-decreed fate. 
Thou art the cause, that crooked, old, and blind, 

1 am exilde farre from my countrey soyle, &c. n 

That it may be seen in some measure, how far these two poets, who 
deserve much praise for even an attempt to introduce the Grecian drama 
to the notice of our ancestors, have succeeded in translating this scene 
of the tenderest expostulation, I will place it before the reader in a plain 
literal version. 

" OED. My daughter, I praise your filial piety. But yet ANT. 
But if I was to marry Creon's son, and you, my father, be left alone in 
banishment? OED. Stay at home, and be happy. I will bear my own 
misfortunes patiently. ANT. But who will attend you, thus blind and 
helpless, my father ? OED. I shall fall down and be found lying in 
some field on the ground, as it may chance to happen*. ANT. Where 
is now that Oedipus, and his famous riddle of the Sphinx ? OED. He 
is lost ! one day made me happy, and one day destroyed me ! ANT. 
Ought I not, therefore, to share your miseries ? OED. It will be but 
a base banishment of a princess with her blind father ! ANT. To one 
that is haughty: not to one that is humble, and loves her father. OED. 
Lead me on then, and let me touch the dead body of your mother. 
ANT. Lo, now your hand is upon her . OED. O my mother! O my 
most wretched wife ! ANT. She lies a wretched corpse, covered with 
every woe. OED. But where are the dead bodies of my sons Eteocles 
and Polynices ? ANT. They lie just by you, stretched out close to one 
another. OED. Put my blind hand upon their miserable faces ! ANT. 
Lo now, you touch your dead children with your hand. OED. O, dear, 
wretched carcases of a wretched father ! ANT. O, to me the most dear 
name of my brother Polynices?! OED. Now, my daughter, the oracle 
of Apollo proves true. ANT. What ? Can you tell any more evils than 
those which have happened ? OED. That I should die an exile at Athens. 
ANT. What city of Attica will take you in? OED. The sacred Colo- 
nus, the house of Equestrian Neptune. Come, then, lend your assist- 

m " She giuetli Mm a staffe and stayeth " The dear old woman," in the Greek. 

him herselfe also." Stage-direction. P Creon had re f use d Polynices the rites 

* Act v. sc. ult. of se p u itu r e. This was a great aggrava- 

* It is impossible to represent the Greek, ti f the distress , 
v. 1681. 

JTc<rwi/, birov fJioi p,oipa, 


ance to this blind father, since you mean to be a companion of my 
flight. ANT. Go then into miserable banishment ! O my ancient fa- 
ther, stretch out your dear hand ! I will accompany you, like a favour- 
able wind to a ship. OED. Behold, I go ! Daughter, be you my un- 
fortunate guide ! ANT. Thus, am I, am I, the most unhappy of all the 
Theban virgins ! OED. Where shall I fix my old feeble foot ? Daugh- 
ter, reach to me my staff. ANT. Here, go here, after me. Place your 
foot here, my father, you that have the strength only of a dream. 
OED. O most unhappy banishment ! Creon drives me in my old age 
from my country. Alas ! alas ! wretched, wretched things have I suf- 
fered," &c.<i 

So sudden were the changes or the refinements of our language, that 
in the second edition of this play, printed again with Gascoigne's poems 
in 1587*, it was thought necessary to affix marginal explanations of 
many words, not long before in common use, but now become obsolete 
and unintelligible. Among others, are behest and quell*. This, how- 
ever, as our author says, was done at the request of a lady, who did not 
understand poetical words or termes*. 

Seneca's ten Tragedies were translated at different times and by dif- 
ferent poets. These were all printed together in 1581, under this title, 
curii Nutrices horce. IMPRINTED AT LONDON IN FLEETSTREETE neare 
vnto saincte Dunstons church by Thomas Marshe, 1581 V The book 
is dedicated, from Butley in Cheshire, to sir Thomas Heneage, treasurer 
of the queen's chamber. I shall speak of each man's translation di- 

were translated by John Studley, educated at Westminster school, and 
afterwards a scholar of Trinity college in Cambridge. The HYPPOLI- 
TUS, which he calls the fourth and most ruthfull tragedy, the MEDEA f, 

q Phceniss. v. 1677 seq. p. 170. edit. CIIAUCERUSQUE adsit, SURREIUS et in- 

Barnes. clytus adsit, 

* [In Sir John Davis's Epigrams, which GASCOIGNOQUE aliquis sit, mea Corda, 

appeared about ten years later, a new-fan- locus. 


., , r. , . , j. . , . . rLEETSTREETE Near vnto Satnct Dun- 

the catalogue ot ins absurdities by giving , , , , , __ , ieoi 

praise to -Old George Gascoine's rimes," S f n S /*""*#, Th maS M&rShe ' 158L 

Fnio- 99 PARK I Containing 217 leaves. 

'cotnavd kUL By the way, this is " l , kn W ***** ^? of a book 

done throughout this Edition of Gas- ed to E. Matts D.scourses on 

Poe g ms. So we have Nil,, * 

* Pag. 128. Among others, words not , t [The following lines which close the 

of the obsolete kind are explained, such as f U f th , chor " s . m Med f a > s eem worthy of 

Monarch, Diademe, &c. Gascoigne is ce- n tlce for their P oetlcal ex P r ^sion. 

lebrated by Gabriel Harvey, as one of the Now Phoebus, lodge thy charyot in the 
English poets who have written in praise west, 

of women. Gratulat. Validens. edit. Bin- Let neyther raynes nor brydle stay thy 
neman, 1578. 4to. Lib. iv. p. 22. race : 


in which are some alterations of the chorus w , and the HERCULES 
OETEUS, were all first printed in Thomas Newton's collection of 1581, 
just mentioned x . The AGAMEMNON was first and separately published 
in 1566, and entitled, " The eyght Tragedie of Seneca entituled AGA- 
MEMNON, translated out of Latin into English by John Studley student 
in Trinitie college in Cambridge. Imprinted at London in Flete streete 
beneath the Conduit at the signe of S. John Euangelyst by Thomas Col- 
well A.D. M.D,Lxvi y ." This little book is exceedingly scarce, and hardly 
to be found in the choicest libraries of those who collect our poetry in 
black letter 2 . Recommendatory verses are prefixed, in praise of our 
translator's performance. It is dedicated to secretary Cecil*. To the 
end of the fifth act our translator has added a whole scene, for the pur- 
pose of relating the death of Cassandra, the imprisonment of Electra, 
and the flight of Orestes. Yet these circumstances were all known and 
told before. The narrator is Eurybates, who in the commencement of 
the third act had informed Clytemnestra of Agamemnon's return. These 
efforts, however imperfect or improper, to improve the plot of a drama 
by a new conduct or contrivance, deserve particular notice at this in- 
fancy of our theatrical taste and knowledge. They show that authors 
now began to think for themselves, and that they were not always im- 
plicitly enslaved to the prescribed letter of their models. Studley, who 
appears to have been qualified for better studies, misapplied his time 
and talents in translating Bale's Acts of the Popes. That translation, 
dedicated to Thomas lord Essex, was printed in 1574< b . He has left 
twenty Latm distichs on the death of the learned Nicholas Carr, Cheke's . 
successor in the Greek professorship at Cambridge . 

Let groveling light with dulceat nyghte z Entered in 1565-6. Registr. Station. 

opprest, A. fol. 136 b. 

In cloking cloudes wrap up his muffled * [In this dedication Studley says, he 

face ; " was sometyme scholler in the Queenes 

Let Hesperus, the loadesman of the Majesties grammer schoole at Westmin- 

nyghte, ster." Wood speaks of him as " a noted 

In western floode drench -deepe the day poet" in his day; and probably inferred 

so bryght. PARK.] this from the metrical compliments of con- 
temporaries prefixed to the early edition 

J See Newt edit. fol. 12 1-a. of gj A F emnon . chetwood, whose 

But I must except the Medea, which authorit is at all times doubtful| te ll s 

is entered as translated by John Studley of ug he ^ kmed in plande / s in 15g7> gee 

Trinity-college in Cambridge, in 1565-6, Brk BibL H 373> _p ARK . ] 

7 Tu W ' S1Str * I*- 10 "' " In 1 uarto > b1 ' lett ' " Tne Flaunt of 

140 b. I have never seen this separate p ^ c< &c Eng i ished with sundrye 

edition. Also the Hippohtus is entered additions by j. S . For Thomas Marshe, 

to Jones and Charlewood, in 1579. Re- 15 ^ 4 

gistr, B In 1566-7, I find an entry to e At the end of Bartholomew Boding- 

Henry Denham, which I do not well un- ton>g p igt]e of Carr , g L}fe and Death ad _ 

derstand, "for printing the fourth part of dregse / to sh . Walter Mildmay, and sub- 

Seneca's workes. Registr. A fol. 152 b. joined to Can ., s Lat|n Translation of seven 

Hippohtus is the fourth Tragedy. Orations of Demosthenes. Lond.1571. 4to. 

[Qu. whether he had not a greater share Do dington, a fellow of Trinity college, suc- 

of the whole '-HERBERT.] ceeded Carr in the Greek chai 1560> See 

v BI. lett 12mo. [In the Bodleian Camden , s Monum . Eccles . ColL Westmon . 

library, marked 8. 4. 44. Art. Seld. ed}t 1600 4to> si t K> 2> 


The OCTAVIA is translated by T. N. or Thomas Nuce, or Newce, a 
fellow of Pembroke-hall in 1 562, afterwards rector of Oxburgh in Nor- 
folk, Beccles, Weston-Market, and vicar of Gaysley in Suffolk d ; and at 
length prebendary of Ely cathedral in 1586 e . This version is for the 
most part executed in the heroic rhyming couplet. All the rest of the 
translators have used, except in the chorus, the Alexandrine measure, 
in which Sternhold and Hopkins rendered the Psalms, perhaps the most 
unsuitable species of English versification that could have been applied 
to this purpose. Nuce's OCTAVIA was first printed in 1566 f . He has 
two very long copies of verses, one in English and the other in Latin, 
prefixed to the first edition of Studley's AGAMEMNON in 1566, just men- 

Alexander Nevyle translated, or rather paraphrased, the OEDIPUS, 
in the sixteenth year of his age, and in the year 1560, not printed till 
the year 1581 e. It is dedicated to doctor Wootton, a privy counsellor, 
and his godfather. Notwithstanding the translator's youth, it is by far 
the most spirited and elegant version in the whole collection, and it is 
to be regretted that he did not undertake all the rest. He seems to 
have been persuaded by his friends, who were of the graver sort, that 
poetry was only one of the lighter accomplishments of a young man, 
and that it should soon give way to the more weighty pursuits of lite- 
rature. The first act of his OEDIPUS begins with these lines, spoken 
by Oedipus. 

The night is gon, and dreadfull day begins at length t'appeere, 

And Phoebus, all bedimde with clowdes, himselfe aloft doth reere : 

And gliding forth with deadly hue, a dolefull blase in skies 

Doth beare : great terror and dismay to the beholders eyes I 

Now shall the houses voyde be scene, with Playgue deuoured quight, 

And slaughter which the night hath made, shall day bring forth to 


Doth any man in princely throne reioyce? O brittle ioy ! 
How many ills, how fayre a face, and yet how much annoy, 
In thee doth lurk, and hidden lies ! What heapes of endles strife ! 
They iudge amisse, that deeme the Prince to haue the happie life. h 

Nevyl was born in Kent, in 1544 1 , and occurs taking a master's de- 
gree at Cambridge, with Robert earl of Essex, on the sixth day of July, 
1581 k . He was one of the learned men whom archbishop Parker re- 
tained in his family 1 ; and at the time of the archbishop's death, in 1575, 

d Where he died in 1617, and is buried mas Colwell's license to print "a boke 

with an epitaph in English rhyme. See entituled the Lamentable History of the 

Bentham's Ely, p. 251. prynce Oedypus." Registr. Station. A. 

e Feb. 21. fol. 89 a. 

f For in that year, there is a receipt for h Fol. 78 a. 

license to Henry Denhani to print it. Re- Lambarde, Peramb. Kent, p. 72. 

gistr. Station. A. fol. 148 b. k MS. Catal. Grad. Univ. Cant. 

8 But in 1563, is a receipt for Tho- Strype's Grindal, p. 196. 




was his secretary 1 ". He wrote a Latin narrative of the Norfolk insur- 
rection under Kett, which is dedicated to archbishop Parker, and was 
printed in 1575". To this he added a Latin account of Norwich, printed 
the same year, called Nonvicus, the plates of which were executed by 
Lyne and Hogenberg, archbishop Parker's domestic engravers, in 1 574? . 
He published the Cambridge verses on the death of sir Philip Sydney, 
which he dedicated to lord Leicester, in 1587 p . He projected, but I 
suspect never completed, an English translation of Livy, in 1577 q . He 
died in 1614 r . 

The HERCULES FURENS, THYESTES, and TROAS, were translated 
into English by Jasper Hey wood*. The HERCULES FURENS was first 

m Strype, Life of Parker, p. 497. He 
is styled Armiger. See also the Dedica- 
tion to his Kettus. 

n Lond. 4to. The title is, "Kettus, sive 
de furoribus Norfolciensium Ketto duce." 
Again at London, 1582, by Henry Bin- 
neman, 8vo. And in English, 1615, and 
1623. The disturbance was occasioned 
by an inclosure in 1549, and began at an 
annual play, or spectacle, at Wymondham, 
which lasted two days and two nights, ac- 
cording to ancient custom, p. 6. edit. 1582. 
He cites part of a ballad sung by the re- 
bels, which had a most powerful effect in 
spreading the commotion, p. 88. Prefixed 
is a copy of Latin verses on the death of his 
patron archbishop Parker ; and a recom- 
mendatory Latin copy by Thomas Drant, 
the first translator of Horace. See also 
Strype's Parker, p. 499. Nevile has an- 
other Latin work, Apologia ad Walliec Pro- 
ceres, Lond. for Binneman, 1576. 4to. He 
is mentioned in that part of G.Gascoigne's 
poems called DEVISES. His name, and 
the date 1565, are inscribed on the Car- 
tularmm S. Gregorii Cantuarice, among 
bishop More's books, with two Latin lines 
which I hope he did not intend for hexa- 

It is sometimes accompanied with an 
engraved map of the Saxon and British 
kings. See Hollinsh. Chron. i. 139. 

p Lond. 4to. viz. " Academiae Canta- 
brigiensis Lacrymae tumulo D. Philippi 
Sidneii sacratse." 

q See Note in the Register of the Sta- 
tioners' Company, dated May 3, 1577. Re- 
gistr. B. fol.139 b. It was not finished in 

[Nevyle has five pages of verses in com- 
mendation of the author before Googe's 
Eclog. &c. 1563. PARK.] 

r Octob. 4. Batteley's Canterb. App. 7. 
where see his Epitaph. He is buried in a 
chapel in Canterbury cathedral with his 
brother Thomas, dean of that church. The 
publication of Seneca's Oedipus in Eng- 
lish by Studley, or rather Gascoigne's 

Jocasta, produced a metrical tale of Ete- 
ocles and Polynices, in " The Forrest of 
Fancy, wherein is contained very pretty 
Apothegmes, and pleasant Histories, both 
in meeter and prose, Songes, Sonets, Epi- 
grams, and Epistles, &c. Imprinted at 
London by Thomas Purfoote, &c. 1579." 
4to. See Signal. B; ij. Perhaps Henry 
Chettle, or Henry Constable, is the writer 
or compiler. [See supr. p. 243.] At least 
the colophon is, " Finis, H. C." By the 
way, it appears that Chettle was the pub- 
lisher of Greene's Groatsworth of Wit in 
1592. It is entered to W. Wrighte, Sept. 
20. Registr. Station. B. fol. 292 b. 

[Mr. Warton's copy of " The Forrest of 
Fancy" came into the possession of my 
respected friend James Bindley, Esq., 
who favoured me with the perusal, and 
from its great difference in style to the 
received productions of Constable, I 
should hesitate to assign the work to him ; 
nor does it much resemble the composi- 
tions of Chettle ; such, at least, as I have 
inspected, viz. " Kind Harts Dreame," 
1592, and "England's Mourning Gar- 
ment," on the death of Queen Elizabeth. 

* [To Heywocd, Neville, and other 
contemporary translators, the following 
tribute was offered by T. B. in verses to 
the Reader before Studley's version of 
the Agamemnon, 1566. 

When Heiwood did in perfect verse 

And dolfull tune set out, 

And by hys smouth and fytest style 

Declared had aboute, 

What toughe reproche the Troyans of 

The hardy Greekes receyved, 

Whey they of towne, of goods, and lyves, 

Togyther were depryved, &c. 

May Heywood thus alone get prayse, 

And Phaer be cleare forgott, 

Whose verse and style doth far surmount, 

And gotten hath the lot? 

So may not Googe have part with hym, 

Whose travayle and whose payne, 




printed at London in 1561 s , and dedicated to William Herbert lord 
Pembroke, with the following pedantic Latin title : " Lucii Annaei 
Senecae tragoedia prima, quae inscribitur HERCULES FURENS, nuper 
recognita, et ab omnibus mendis quibus scatebat sedulo purgata, et in 
studiosae juventutis utilitatem in Anglicum tanta fide conversa, ut car- 
men pro carmine, quoad Anglica lingua patiatur, pene redditum videas, 
per Jasperum Heywodum Oxoniensem." The THYESTES, said to be 
faithfully Englished by lasper Hey wood felow of Alsolne colledge in 
Oxenforde, was also first separately printed by Berthelette at London 
in 1560*. He has added a scene to the fourth act, a soliloquy by 
Thyestes, who bewails his own misfortunes, and implores vengeance on 
Atreus. In this scene, the speaker's application of all the torments of 
hell to Atreus's unparalleled guilt of feasting on the bowels of his chil- 
dren, furnishes a sort of nauseous bombast, which not only violates the 
laws of criticism, but provokes the abhorrence of our common sensi- 
bilities. A few of the first lines are tolerable. 

O kyng of Dytis dungeon darke, and grysly ghost of hell, 
That in the deepe and dreadfull denne of blackest Tartare dwell, 
Where leane and pale Diseases lye, where Feare and Famyne are, 
Where Discord standes with bleeding browes, where euery kinde of care; 

Whose verse also is full as good, 

Or better of the twaine? 

A Nevyle also one there is 

In verse that gives no place 

To Hciwood, though he be full good, 

In using of his pace. 

Nor Goldinge can have lesse renowne, 

Which Ovid dyd translate ; 

And by the thondryng of hys verse 

Hath set in chayre of state; 

A great sorte more I reckon myght 

With Heiwood to compare, 

And this our Author (Fund) one of them 

To compte I will not spare; 

Whose paynes is egall with the rest 

In thys he hath begun, 

And lesser prayse deserveth not 

Then Heiwood's worke hath done 

Give therefore Studley part of prayse, 

To recompense hys payne ; 

For egall labour evermore 

Deserveth egall gayne. PARK.] 

* In 12mo. 

* In 12mo. It is dedicated in verse to 
sir John Mason. Then follows in verse 
also, " The translatour to the booke." 
From the metrical Preface which next 
follows, I have cited many stanzas. See 
supr. p. 227. This is a Vision of the poet 
Seneca, containing 27 pages. In the 
course of this Preface, he laments a pro- 
mising youth just dead, whom he means 
to compliment by saying, that he now 

" lyues with Joue, another Ganymede." 
But he is happy that the father survives, 
who seems to be sir John Mason. Among 
the old Roman poets he mentions Pa- 
lingenius. After Seneca has delivered 
him the Thyestes to translate, he feels an 
unusual agitation, and implores Megsera 
to inspire him with tragic rage. 

" O thou Megaera, then I sayd, 

If might of thyne it bee 
(Wherewith thou Tantall drouste from 

That thus dysturbeth mee, 

Enspyre my pen!" 

This sayde, I felt the Furies force 

Enflame me more and more : 
And ten tymes more now chafte I was 

Than euer yet before. 
My haire stoode vp, I waxed wood 1 , 

My synewes all dyd shake: 
And, as the Furye had me vext, 

My teethe began to quake. 
And thus enflamede, &c. 

He then enters on his translation. No- 
thing is here wanting but a better stanza. 

[Mr. Warton has omitted to notice 
that a fourth scene to the fifth act is add- 
ed by the Translator. It consists of a 
monologue or soliloquy assigned to Thy- 
estes, who invokes all the infernal tribes 
of Tartarus to become his conjoined asso- 
ciates. PARK.] 



Where Furies fight on beds of steele, and heares of crauling snakes, 
Where Gorgon gremme, where Harpies are, and lothsom limbo lakes, 
Where most prodigious u vgly things the hollow hell doth hyde, 
If yet a monster more mishapt, &c. 

In the TROAS, which was first faultily printed in or before 1560 VV , 
afterwards reprinted* in 1581 by Newton, he has taken greater liber- 
ties. At the end of the chorus after the first act, he has added about 
sixty verses of his own invention. In the beginning of the second act, 
he has added a new scene, in which he introduces the spectre of 
Achilles raised from hell, and demanding the sacrifice of Polyxena. 
This scene, which is in the octave stanza, has much of the air of one 
of the legends in the MIRROUR FOR MAGISTRATES. To the chorus 
of this act he has subjoined three stanzas. Instead of translating the 
chorus of the third act, which abounds with the hard names of the an- 
cient geography, and which would both have puzzled the translator and 
tired the English reader, he has substituted a new r ode. In his preface 
to the reader, from which he appears to be yet a fellow of All Souls 
college, he modestly apologises for these licentious innovations, and 
hopes to be pardoned for his seeming arrogance, in attempting " to set 
forth in English this present piece of the flowre of all writers Seneca, 
among so many fine wittes, and towardly youth, with which England 
this day florisheth x ." Our translator Jasper Hey wood has several 
poems extant in the Paradise of Daintie Denises, published in 1573f. 
He was the son of John Hey wood, commonly called the epigrammatist, 
and born in London. In 1547, at twelve years of age, he was sent to 
Oxford, and in 1553 elected fellow of Merton college. But inheriting 
too large a share of his father's facetious and free disposition, he some- 
times in the early part of life indulged his festive vein in extravagancies 
and indiscretions, for which being threatened with expulsion, he re- 
signed his fellowship y. He exercised the office of Christmas-prince, 
or lord of misrule, to the college ; and seems to have given offence, by 
suffering the levities and jocularities of that character to mix with his 
life and general conversation 2 . In the year 1558, he was recommend- 
ed by cardinal Pole, as a polite scholar, an able disputant, and a steady 

u So Milton, on the same subject, and * Fol. 95 a. 

in the true sense of the word, Par. L. ii. f [Herbert, in Typogr. Antiq. p. 686, 

625. thinks this date a misprint for 1578, the 

first edition not having been published 
-All monstrous, all PRODIGIOUS things. tm ^^ &nd Mr> Wa * Q|} hay g before 

w I have never seen this edition of cited the publication as dated 1578. 

1560 or before, but he speaks of it him- PARK.] 

self in the metrical Preface to the Thy- y See Harrington's Epigrams, " Of old 

estes just mentioned, and says itwasmost Ilaywood's sonnes." B. ii. 102. 
carelessly printed at the sign of the hand z Among Wood's papers, there is an 

and star. This must have been at the oration De Ligno et Fceno, spoken by 

shop of Richard Tottel within Temple Bar. Hey wood's cotemporary and fellow-col - 

* [Or rather published by Newton, legiari, David de la Hyde, in commenda- 

who translated the last Tragedy. It was tion of his execution of this office. 
printed by T. Marsh. PARK.] 


catholic, to sir Thomas Pope, founder of Trinity college in the same 
university, to be put in nomination for a fellowship of that college* then 
just founded. But this scheme did not take place a . He was, however, 
appointed fellow of All Souls college the same year. Dissatisfied with 
the change of the national religion, within four years he left England, 
and became a catholic priest and a Jesuit at Rome, in 1562*. Soon 
afterwards he was placed in the theological chair at Billing in Switzer- 
land, which he held for seventeen years. At length returning to Eng- 
land, in the capacity of a popish missionary, he was imprisoned, but 
released by the interest of the earl of Warwick. For the deliverance 
from so perilous a situation, he complimented the earl in a copy of 
English verses, two of which, containing a most miserable paronomasy 
on his own name, almost bad enough to have condemned the writer to 
another imprisonment, are recorded in Harrington's Epigrams b . At 
length he retired to Naples, where he died in 1597. He is said to 
have been an accurate critic in the Hebrew language d . His transla- 
tion of the TROAS, not of Virgil as it seems, is mentioned in a copy of 
verses by T. B. e prefixed to the first edition, above-mentioned, of Stud- 
ley's AGAMEMNON. He was intimately connected abroad with the 
biographer Pitts, who has given him rather too partial a panegyric. 

Thomas Newton, the publisher of all the ten tragedies of Seneca in 
English, in one volume, as I have already remarked^ in 1581 f , himself 
added only one to these versions of Studley, Nevile, Nuce, and Jasper 
Hey wood. This is the THEBAIS, probably not written by Seneca, as 
it so essentially differs in the catastrophe from his OEDIPUS. Nor is it 
likely the same poet should have composed two tragedies on the same 
subject, even with a variation of incidents. It is without the chorus and 
a fifth act. Newton appears to have made his translation in 1581, and 
perhaps with a view only of completing the collection. He is more 
prosaic than most of his fellow-labourers, and seems to have paid the 
chief attention to perspicuity and fidelity. In the general EPISTLE 
DEDICATORY to sir Thomas Henneage, prefixed to the volume, he says, 
" I durst not haue geuen the aduenture to approch your presence, vpon 
trust of any singularity, that in this Booke hath vnskilfully dropped 
out of myne owne penne, but that I hoped the perfection of others ar- 

a MS. Collectan. Fr. Wise. See Life of cietatis Jes. lib. iv. num. 11. sub annum 

Sir T. Pope. 1585. 

* [Arthur Hall, before his Homer in e With these initials, there is a piece 

1581, speaks of the learned and painful prefixed to Gascoigne's poems, 1579. [A 

translation of part of Seneca by M. misprint perhaps for 1575 ; no such edi- 

Jasper Heywood, " a man then (circa tion as the preceding being known. 

1562) better learned than fortunate, and PARK.] 

since more fortunate than he hath well f There is a receipt from Marsh for 

bestowed, as it is thought, the giftes God " Seneca's Tragedies in Englishe." Jul. 

and nature hath liberally lent him." 2, 1581. Registi-. Station. B. fol. 181 

PARK.] b. The English version seems to have 

b Epigr. lib. iii. Epigr. 1. produced an edition of the original for 

e Ath. Oxon. i. 290. Man and Brome, Sept. 6, 1585. Ibid. 

d H. Morus, Hist. Provinc, Angl. So- fol. 205 b. 




tificiall workmanship that haue trauayled herein, as well as myselfe, 
should somewhat couer my nakednesse, and purchase my pardon. 
Theirs I knowe to be deliuered with singular dexterity: myne, I con- 
fesse to be an vnflidge [unfledged] nestling, vnable to flye; an vnna- 
tural abortion, and an vnperfect embryon: neyther throughlye la- 
boured at Aristophanes and Gleanthes candle, neither yet exactly 
waighed in Critolaus his precise ballaunce. Yet this I dare saye, I 
haue deliuered myne authors meaning with as much perspicuity as so 
meane a scholar, out of so meane a stoare, in so smal a time, and vpon 
so short a warning, was well able to performe," &c.s 

Of Thomas Newton, a slender contributor to this volume, yet per- 
haps the chief instrument of bringing about a general translation of 
Seneca, and otherwise deserving well of the literature of this period, 
some notices seem necessary. The first letter of his English THEBAIS 
is a large capital D. Within it is a shield exhibiting a sable Lion ram- 

g Dated, "From Butley in Cheshyre 
the 24. of Aprill, 1581." 

I am informed by a manuscript note of 
Oldys, that Richard Robinson translated 
the Thebais. Of this I know no more, 
but R. Robinson was a large writer both 
in verse and prose. Some of his pieces I 
have already mentioned. He wrote also 
" Christmas Recreations of histories and 
moralizations aplied for our solace and 
consolacions," licensed to T. East, Dec. 5, 
1576. Registr. Station. B. fol. 136 b. 
And, in 1569, is entered to Binneman, 
" The ruefull tragedy of Hemidos, &c. by 
Richard Robinson." Registr. A. fol. 190 a. 
And, to T. Dawson in 1579, Aug. 26, 
" The Vineyard of Vertue a booke gather- 
ed by R. Robinson." Registr. B. fol. 
163 a. He was a citizen of London. 
The reader recollects his English Gesta 
Romanorum, in 1577. He wrote also 
" The avncient order, societie, and vnide 
laudable, of Prince Arthure, and his 
knightly armory of the Round Table. 
With a threefold assertion, &c. Trans- 
lated and collected by R. R." Lond. for 
J. Wolfe, 1583. bl. lett. 4to. This 
work is in metre, and the armorial bear- 
ings of the knights are in verse. Pre- 
fixed is a poem by Churchyard, in praise 
of ihe Bow. His translation of Leland's 
Assertio Arthuri (bl. lett. 4to.) is entered 
to J. Wolfe, Jun. 6, 1582. Registr. Sta- 
tion. B. fol. 189 b. [It was published in 
the same year. PARK.] I find, licensed 
to R. James in 1565, " A boke intituled 
of very pleasaunte sonnettes and storyes 
in myter [metre] by Clement Robyn- 
son." Registr. B. fol. 141 a. 

[In 1584 was printed "A Handefull 
of pleasant Delites, containing sundrie 
new sonets and delectable histories, in 
diuers kindes of mceter, newly devised 

to the newest times, &c. by Clement Ro- 
binson and others." 16mo. Extracts from 
this Miscellany are given in Censura Li- 
teraria, vol. iv. and Ellis's Specimens, 
vol. ii. Richard Robinson put forth the 
following works, " The Rewarde of Wick- 
ednesse, discoursing the sundrye mon- 
strous Abuses of wicked and ungodlye 
Worldelinges, in such sort set downe and 
written, as the same have been dyversely 
practised in the persones of popes, harlots, 
proude princes, tyrauntes, Romish by- 
shoppes, and others," &c. Author's ad- 
dress, dated May 1574. Lond. by W. Wil- 
liamson. 4to. n. d. From this tract it ap- 
pears, that R. Robinson was in the house- 
hold service of the Earl of Shrewsbury, 
and employed by him as a domestic sen- 
tinel over the Q. of Scots. In 1576, he 
published a work, which Mr. Warton had 
entered as duly licensed. It was entitled 
" Robinson's Poems ; certain selected hi- 
stories for Christian recreations, with 
their several Moralizations. Brought in- 
to English verse, and are to be sung with 
several notes composed by Rich. Robin- 
son." Lond. for H. Kirkham. In 1578 
he printed "A Dyall of dayly Contem- 
placion, or devine Exercise of the Mind ; 
instructing us to live unto God, and to 
dye unto the world," &c. Lond. by Hugh 
Singleton. This was translated from the 
Latin of Fox, bishop of Durham and Win- 
chester. A work of a similar kind, trans- 
lated from the Latin of Dr. Urbanus, was 
printed in 1587-1590, and lastly, by R. 
Jones in 1594. It was called " The So- 
lace of Sion and Joy of Jerusalem, or Con- 
solation of God's Church in the latter 
Age, redeemed by the preaching of the 
Gospell universallie." In these three lat- 
ter pieces he designates himself as a citi- 
zen of London. PARK.] 


pant, crossed in argent on the shoulder, and a half moon argent in the 
dexter corner, I suppose his armorial bearing. In a copartment, to- 
wards the head, and under the semicircle, of the letter, are his initials, 
T. N. He was descended from a respectable family in Cheshire, and 
was sent while very young, about thirteen years of age, to Trinity col- 
lege in Oxford 11 . Soon afterwards he went to Queen's college in Cam- 
bridge; but returned within a very few years to Oxford, where he was 
re-admitted into Trinity college 1 . He quickly became famous for the 
pure elegance of his Latin poetry. Of this he has left a specimen in 
1589 k . He is perhaps the first Englishman that wrote Latin elegiacs with 
a classical clearness and terseness after Leland, the plan of whose ENCO- 
MIA and TROPH^EA he seems to have followed in this little work 1 . Most 
of the learned and ingenious men of that age appear to have courted the 
favours of this polite and popular encomiast. His chief patron was 
the unfortunate Robert earl of Essex. I have often incidentally men- 
tioned some of Newton's recommendatory verses, both in English and 
Latin, prefixed to cotemporary books, according to the mode of that 
age. One of his earliest philological publications is a NOTABLE Hi- 
STORIE OF THE SARACENS, digested from Curio, in three books, printed 
at London in 1575 m . I unavoidably anticipate in remarking here, that 
he wrote a poem on the death of queen Elizabeth, called " ATROPOION 
DELION," or, " the Death of Delia with the Tears of her funeral. A 
poetical excusive discourse of our late Eliza. By T. N. G.* Lond. 
1603 n ." The next year he published a flowery romance, " A plesant 
new history, or a fragrant posie made of three flowers Rosa, Rosalynd, 
and Rosemary. London, 1604." Phillips, in his THEATRUM POETA- 
RUM, attributes to Newton a tragedy in two parts, called TAMBURLAIN 
THE GREAT, OR THE SCYTHIAN SHEPHERD. But this play, printed at 
London in 1593, was written by Christopher Marlowe P. He seems to 
have been a partisan of the puritans, from his pamphlet of CHRISTIAN 
FRIENDSHIP, with an Invective against dice-play and other profane 
games, printed at London, 1586 q . For some time our author practised 
physic, and, in the character of that profession, wrote or translated many 
medical tracts. The first of these, on a curious subject, A direction for 
the health of magistrates and students, from Gratarolus, appeared in 1574. 
At length taking orders, he first taught school at Macclesfield in Che- 

h Registr. ibid. * Ibid. 1 Lond. 1589. 4to. Reprinted by Hearne, 

k His master John Brunswerd, at Mac- Oxon. 1715. 8vo. 

clesfield school, in Cheshire, was no bad m In quarto. With a Summary annexed 

Latin poet. See his Progymnasmata all- on the same subject. 

quot Poemata. Lond. 1590. 4to. See [" Thomas Newton, gentleman," 

Newton's Encom. p. 128. 131. Brun- seems to be here adumbrated. PARK.] 

swerd died in 1589 ; and his epitaph, made " In quarto. For W. Johnes. 

by his scholar Newton, yet remains in the In quarto, 

chancel of the church of Macclesfield. p See Heywood's Prologue to Marlowe's 

Alpha poetarum, coryphaeus grammati- Jew of Malta, 1633. 

corum octavo. From the Latin of Lamb. 

, hac sepelitur humo. 


shire, and afterwards at Little Ilford in Essex, where he was beneficed. 
In this department, and in 1596, he published a correct edition of Stan- 
bridge's Latin Prosody 1 ". In the general character of an author, he was 
a voluminous and a laborious writer. From a long and habitual course 
of studious and industrious pursuits he had acquired a considerable for- 
tune, a portion of which he bequeathed in charitable legacies. 

It is remarkable, that Shakspeare has borrowed nothing from the 
English Seneca*. Perhaps a copy might not fall in his way. Shak- 
speare was only a reader by accident f. Hollinshed and translated 
Italian novels supplied most of his plots or stories. His storehouse of 
learned history was North's Plutarch. The only poetical fable of an- 
tiquity which he has worked into a play, is TROILUS. But this he 
borrowed from the romance of Troy. Modern fiction and English hi- 
story were his principal resources. These perhaps were more suitable 
to his taste ; at least he found that they produced the most popular 
subjects. Shakspeare was above the bondage of the classics. 

I must not forget to remark here, that, according to Ames, among 
the copies of Henry Denham recited in the register of the Company of 
Stationers 8 , that printer is said, on the eighth of January, in 1583, 
among other books, to have yielded into the hands and dispositions of 
the master, wardens, and assistants of that fraternity, " Two or three 
of Seneca his tragedies 1 ." These, if printed after 1581, cannot be new 
impressions of any single plays of Seneca, of those published in New- 
ton's edition of all the ten tragedies. 

Among Hatton's manuscripts in the Bodleian library at Oxford", 
there is a long translation from the HERCULES OETAEUS of Seneca, by 
queen Elizabeth. It is remarkable that it is blank verse, a measure 
which her majesty perhaps adopted from GORBODUC ; and which there- 
fore proves it to have been done after the year 1561. It has, however, 
no other recommendation but its royalty. 

r " Vocabula magistri Stanbrigii ab in- s I find nothing of this in Register B. 
finitis quibus scatebant mendis repurgata, * They are mentioned by Ames, with 
observata interim (quoad ejus fieri potuit) these pieces, viz. " Pasquin in a traunce. 
carminis ratione, et meliuscule etiam cor- The hoppe gardein. Ovid's metamor- 
recta, studio et industria Thomae New- phosis. The courtier. Cesar's commen- 
toni Cestreshyrii. Edinb. excud. R. Wai- taries in English. Ovid's epistles. Image 
degrave." I know not if this edition, ofidlenesse. Flower of frendship. Schole 
which is in octavo, is the first. See our of vertue. Gardener's laborynth. De- 
author's Encom. p. 128. Our author pub- mosthenes' orations." I take this oppor- 
lished one or two translations on theolo- tunity of acknowledging my great obliga- 
gical subjects. tions to that very respectable society, who 

* [Yet the learned Mr. Whalley re- in the most liberal manner have indulged 

marks, it exceeds the usual poetry of that me with a free and unreserved examina- 

age, and is equal perhaps to any of the tion of their original records; particularly 

versions which have been made of it since. to the kind assistance and attention of one 

Inquiry into the Learning of Shakspeare. of its members, Mr. Lockyer Davies, book- 

PARK.] seller in Holborn. 

f [Mr. G. Chalmers scouts this intelli- u MSS. Mus. Bodl. 55. 12. [Olim Hy- 

gence ; and points out to curious inquirers per. Bodl.] It begins, 

the very books which Shakspeare studied. . hurle of Fortune > s 

See Suppl. Apol. p. 228. PARK.] 



Most of the classic poets translated before the end of the sixteenth century. 
Phaiers Eneid. Completed by Twyne. Their other works. Phaiers 
Ballad of Gad's-hill. Stanihurst's Eneid in English hexameters. 
His other works. Fleming's Virgil's Bucolics and Georgics. His 
other works. Webbe and Fraunce translate some of the Bucolics. 
Fraunce's other works. Spenser s Culex. The original not genuine. 
The Ceiris proved to be genuine. Nicholas Whyte's story of Jason, 
supposed to be a version of Valerius Flaccus. Golding's Ovid's 
Metamorphoses. His other works. Ascham's censure of rhyme. A 
translation of the Fasti revives and circulates the story of Lucrece. 
Euryalus and Lucretia. Detached fables of the Metamorphoses trans- 
lated. Moralisations in fashion. Underdowne's Ovid's Ibis. Ovid's 
Elegies translated by Marlowe. Remedy of Love, by F. L. Epistles 
by Turberville. Lord Essex a translator of Ovid. His literary 
character. Churchyard's Ovid's Tristia. Other detached versions 
from Ovid. Ancient meaning and use of the word Ballad. Dr ant's 
Horace. Incidental criticism on Tully's Oration pro Archia. 

BUT, as scholars began to direct their attention to our vernacular po- 
etry, many more of the ancient poets now appeared in English verse. 
Before the year 1600, Homer, Musaeus, Virgil, Horace, Ovid, and 
Martial, were translated. Indeed most of these versions were pub- 
lished before the year 1580. For the sake of presenting a connected 
display of these early translators, I am obliged to trespass, in a slight 
degree, on that chronological order which it has been my prescribed 
and constant method to observe. In the mean time we must remem- 
ber, that their versions, while they contributed to familiarise the ideas 
of the ancient poets to English readers, improved our language and 
versification ; and that in a general view, they ought to be considered 
as valuable and important accessions to the stock of our poetical lite- 
rature. These were the classics of Shakspeare. 

I shall begin with those that were translated first in the reign of 
Elizabeth. But I must premise, that this inquiry will necessarily draw 
with it many other notices much to our purpose, and which could not 
otherwise have been so conveniently disposed and displayed. 

Thomas Phaier, already mentioned as the writer of the story of OWEN 
GLENDOUR in the MIRROUR FOR MAGISTRATES, a native of Pembroke- 
shire, educated at Oxford, a student of Lincoln's Inn, and an advocate 
to the council for the Marches of Wales, but afterwards doctorated in 
medicine at Oxford, translated the seven first books of the Eneid of 




Virgil*, on his retirement to his patrimonial seat in the forest of Kil- 
garran, in Pembrokeshire, in the years 1555, 1556, 1557. They were 
printed at London in 1558, by Ihon Kyngston, and dedicated to queen 
Mary 8 . He afterwards finished the eighth book on the tenth of Sep- 
tember, within forty days, in 1558. The ninth, in thirty days, in 1560. 
Dying at Kilgarran the same year, he lived only to begin the tenth b . 
All that was thus done by Phaer-)-, one William Wightman published 
in 1562, with a dedication to Sir Nicholas Bacon, "The nyne first 
books of the Eneidos of Virgil conuerted into English verse by Tho- 
mas Phaer doctour of physick," &c. c The imperfect work was at 
length completed, with Maphaeus's supplemental or thirteenth book, in 
1583[4], by Thomas Twyne J, a native of Canterbury, a physician of 
Lewes in Sussex, educated in both universities, an admirer of the my- 

* [With this title : The seven first 
Bookes of the Eneidos of Vifgill, con- 
verted in Englishe meter by Thos. Phaer, 
esq. sollicitour to the king and quenes 
majesties, attending their honorable coun- 
saile in the marchies of Wales. Anno 1558. 
xxviij. Maij. PARK.] 

a [" To 'the ende," says Phaer, " that 
like as my diligence employed in your 
service in the Marches, maie otherwise 
appeare to your Grace by your hon'ble 
counsaile there ; so your Highness here- 
by may receiue the accompts of my pas- 
tyme in all my vacations, since I haue 
been prefered to your service by your right 
noble and faithful counsaillour William 
lord marquis of Winchester, my first 
bringer-up and patron." PARK.] In 
quarto, bl. lett. At the end of the seventh 
book is this colophon, " Per Thomam 
Pliaer in foresta Kilgerran finitum iij De- 
ceinbris. Anno 1557. Opus xij dierum." 
And at the end of every book is a similar 
colophon, to the same purpose. The first 
book was finished in eleven days, in 1555. 
The second in twenty days, in the same 
year. The third in twenty days, in the 
same year. The fourth in fifteen days, in 
1556. The fifth in twenty-four days, on 
May the third, in 1557, "post periculum 
eius Karmerdini," i. e. at Caermarthen. 
The sixth in twenty days, in 1557. 

Phaier has left many large works in his 
several professions of law and medicine. 
He is pathetically lamented by sir Tho- 
mas Chaloner as a most skilful physician. 
Encom. p. 356. Lond. 1579. 4to. He has 
a recommendatory English poem prefixed 
to Philip Betham's Military Precepts, trans- 
lated from the Latin of James earl of Pur- 
lilias, dedicated to lord Studley, Lond. 
1544. 4to. For E. Whitchurch. 

There is an entry to Purfoot in 1566, 
for printing " serten verses of Cupydo by 

Mr. Fayre [Phaier]." Registr. Station. A. 
fol. 154 a. 

[In his version of the ^Eneid, Phaer 
was thus complimented along with several 
of his cotemporaries : 

Who covets craggy rock to clime 

Of high Parnassus hill, 
Or of the happy Helicon 

To drawe and drinke his fille ; 
Let him the worthy worke surview, 

Of Phare the famous wight, 
Or happy phrase of Heywood's verse, 

Or Turberviles aright : 
Or Googe, or Golding Gascoine else, 

Or Churchyard, Whetstone, Twyne, 
Or twentie worthy writers moe, 

That drawe by learned line, 
Whose paineful pen hath wel procured 

Ech one his proper phrase, &c. 

Ded. to Fulwood's Enemie of Idlenesse, 
1598. And Hall, in the dedication to his 
translation of Homer, 1581, says, he was 
abashed when he came to look upon 
Phaer's Virgilian English in his heroical 
Virgil, and his own poor endeavour to 
learn Homer to talk our mother-tongue. 

b Ex coloph. ut supr. 

f [In the poems of Barnabe Googe, 
written before March 1563, there is an 
epitaph on maister Thomas Phayre, which 
flatters him with having excelled the earl 
of Surrey, Grimaold, and Douglas (bishop 
of Dunkeld) in his style of translating Vir- 
gil, and expresses regret that his death, in 
the midst of his toil, had left a work im- 
perfect which no other man could end. 

c In quarto. Bl. lett. For Rowland 

J [The joint translation of Virgil by 
Phaer and Twyne was first published in 
1573. RITSON.] 


sterious philosophy of John Dee, and patronised by lord Buckhurst the 
poet d . The ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth books were finished at 
London in 1573 e . The whole was printed at London in 1584, with a 
dedication, dated that year from Lewes, to Robert Sackville f , the eld- 
est son of lord Buckhurst, who lived in the dissolved monastery of the 
Cluniacs at Lewes g . So well received was this work, that it was fol- 
lowed by three new editions in 1596 h , 1607, and 1620 1 . Soon after 
the last-mentioned period, it became obsolete and was forgotten k . 

Phaier undertook this translation for the defence, to use his own 
phrase, of the English language, which had been by too many deemed 
incapable of elegance and propriety, and for the " honest recreation of 
you the nobilitie, gentlemen, and ladies, who studie in Latine." He 
adds, " By mee first this gate is set open. If now the young writers 
will uouchsafe to enter, they may finde in this language both large and 
abvndant camps [fields] of uarietie, wherein they may gather innume- 
rable sortes of most beavtifull flowers, figures, and phrases, not only to 
supply the imperfection of inee, but also to garnish all kinds of their 
owne verses with a more cleane and compendiovs order of meeter than 
heretofore hath beene accustomed 1 ." Phaier has omitted, misrepre- 
sented, and paraphrased many passages ; but his performance in every 
respect is evidently superior to Twyne's continuation. The measure is 
the fourteen-footed Alexandrine of Sternhold and Hopkins. I will give 
a short specimen from the siege of Troy, in the second book. Venus 
addresses her son Eneas : 

d See supr. p. 240. His father was at Oxford. In his Collectanea Faria (ibid. 

John Twyne of Bolington in Hampshire, vol. iii. fol. 2.) he says he had written the 

an eminent antiquary, author of the Com- lives of T. Robethon, T. Lupset, Had. 

mentary De Rebus Albionicis, &c. Lond. Barnes, T. Eliot, R. Sampson, T. Wrio- 

1590. It is addressed to, and published thesle, Gul. Paget, G. Day, Joh. Chris- 

by, with an epistle, his said son Thomas. topherson, N. Wooton. He is in Leland's 

Laurence, a fellow of All Souls and a ci- Encomia, p. 83. 

vilian, and John Twyne, both Thomas's 6 Coloph. ut supr. 

brothers, have copies of verses prefixed to { In quarto, bl. lett. For Abraham 

several cotemporary books, about the reign Veale. 

of queen Elizabeth. Thomas wrote and * g Now ruined. But to this day called 

translated many tracts, which it would be Lord's Place. 

superfluous and tedious to enumerate here. h For Thomas Creed. 

To his Breviarie of Britaine, a translation ' All in quarto, bl. lett. In the edition 

from the Latin of Humphrey Lhuyd, in of 1607, printed at London by Thomas 

1573, are prefixed recommendatory verses, Creede, it is said to " be newly set forth 

by Brown prebendary, and Grant the leain- for the delight of such as are studious in 

ed schoolmaster, of Westminster, Llodo- poetrie." 

wyke Lloyd, a poetin the Paradise of Dain- k In 1562, are entered with Nicholas 

tie Devises, and his two brothers, aforesaid, England " the fyrste and ix parte of Vir- 

Laurence and John. gill-" Registr. Station. A. fol. 85 a. I 

Our translator, Thomas Twyne, died in suppose Phaier's first nine books of the 

1613, aged 70, and was buried in the chan- Eneid. And, in 1561-2, with W. Cop- 

cel of saint Anne's church at Lewes, where land, the " booke of Virgill in 4to." Ibid, 

his epitaph of fourteen verses still, 1 be- fol. 73 b. See Registr. C. fol. 8 a. sub 

lieve, remains on a brass plate affixed to ann. 1595. 

the eastern wall. ' See " Maister Phaer's Conclusion to 

Large antiquarian and historical ma- his interpretation of the Aeneidos of 

nuscript collections, by the father John Virgil, by him conuerted into English 

Twyne, are now in Corpus Christ! library verse." 



Thou to thy parents hest take heede, dreade not, my minde obey : 

In yonder place, where stones from stones, and bildings huge to sway, 

Thou seest, and mixt with dust and smoke thicke stremes of reekings rise, 

Himselfe the god Neptune that side doth furne in wonders" 1 wise ; 

With forke threetinde the wall vproots, foundations allto shakes, 

And quite from vnder soile the towne, with groundworks all vprakes. 

On yonder side with Furies most, dame luno fiercely stands, 

The gates she keeps, and from the ships the Greeks, her friendly bands, 

In armour girt she calles. 

Lo ! there againe where Pallas sits, on fortes and castle- to wres, 

With Gorgons eyes, in lightning cloudes inclosed grim she lowres. 

The father-god himselfe to Greeks their mights and courage steres, 

Himselfe against the Troyan blood both gods and armour reres. 

Betake thee to thy flight, my sonne, thy labours ende procure. 

I will thee neuer faile, but thee to resting-place assure. 

She said, and through the darke night-shade herselfe she drew from 

sight : 
Appeare the grisly faces then, Troyes en'mies vgly dight. 

The popular ear, from its familiarity, was tuned to this measure. It 
was now used in most works of length and gravity, but seems to have 
been consecrated to translation. Whatever absolute and original dig- 
nity it may boast, at present it is almost ridiculous, from an unavoidable 
association of ideas, and because it necessarily recalls the tone of the 
versification of the puritans. I suspect it might have acquired a degree 
of importance and reverence, from the imaginary merit of its being the 
established poetic vehicle of scripture, and its adoption into the cele- 
bration of divine service. 

I take this opportunity of observing, that I have seen an old ballad 
called GADS-HILL by Faire, that is probably our translator Phaier. In 
the Registers of the Stationers, among seven Battettes licensed to Wil- 
liam Bedell and Richard Lante, one is entitled " The Robery at Gads 
hill," under the year 1558 n . I know not how far it might contribute 
to illustrate Shakspeare's HENRY THE FOURTH. The title is promising. 

After the associated labours of Phaier and Tw